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Grundon presses for urgency on EU trade waste

Grundon Waste Management has called for accelerated European legislation to drive trade waste recycling.

The European Parliament environment committee published its draft response to the EU Commission’s circular economy (CE) package this month.

No targets for the recycling of trade waste were included in the Commission’s original CE package, but the Parliament’s rapporteur Simona Bonafe called for such targets for 2025 and 2030 to be established by the end of 2018.

Grundon deals largely with commercial waste. Deputy chairman Neil Grundon (pictured) has welcomed the potential for targets but suggested they should be implemented sooner.

“Of course we support any initiative that will increase recycling, but we need to be making a difference right now, not waiting another two years to agree our targets for 2025 and 2030,” he said.

“With sensible legislation in place, we could achieve these targets much more quickly – and surely that’s what we ought to be working towards. As it is, there seems to be little incentive to move forward more quickly.”

Bonafe’s report also proposes a harmonised method across member states for calculating recycling rates.

It wants waste definition to be based on the input of materials for the final recycling process, and be backed with a solid reporting system that prevents landfilled or incinerated material being labelled ’recycled’.

But the Commission’s proposal would allow member states to measure recycling rates on the basis of the output of sorting facilities.

Grundon expressed some concern at Bonafe’s amendment, saying her proposed method did not take advantage of available technology.

“To do this properly, we should be recording the weight of each customer’s recycling bin and then work out the percentage against his residual waste bin,” he said.

“The majority of our fleet is now fitted with weigh scales, so this could be achieved relatively quickly at the collection process. It would be much more effective than trying to trace the contents of 200 bins of commingled sorted recyclables back to the original customer.

“What I’d like to see is more liaison with experts and waste management operators, such as ourselves, to make sure these proposals will be both practical and effective, something I’m not sure they achieve at the moment.”

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