A European Commission (EC) official has confirmed that the UK will have the option of including green waste towards the 50% target for municipal waste as set out in the revisions to the European Waste Framework Directive but that it will not be a statutory requirement.
EC sustainable production and consumption policy officer Andreas Versmann told MRW that member states can include other waste streams such as biowaste in the scope of the target.
Versmann said: Green waste is not included in the 50% target in Article 11. But Article 11 gives member states the option to include biowaste from households into the target.
If the UK would like to include biowaste in the 50% target they may do so - that option is left to member states. But it is not a minimum requirement in the Directive itself that relates to paper, metal, plastic and glass from households.
Article 11 states that by 2020 the preparing for reuse and the recycling of waste materials such as at least paper, metal, plastic and glass from households and possibly from other origins, as far as these waste streams are similar to waste from households, shall be increased to a minimum of overall 50% by weight. If the UK included green waste in the target it would contribute to the overall 50% target, along with paper, metal, plastic and glass.
Versmann added: We have not included green waste in Article 11 because the Commission still has to assess whether specific regulations on biowaste, especially targets on separated collections or targets on recycling, will be reasonable for environmental benefits.
Article 11 also states that by the end of 2014 the Commission will review the 50% target with a review to reinforce the target and set targets for other waste streams, such as biowaste. The process is still in flow this is not a static regulation. What is established now may not be maintained like this until 2020 it is a work in progress.
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