Business waste and green waste could be included within the overall 50% recycling target set earlier this year by the European Parliament and EU Environment Council, for EU member states to achieve by 2020.
Speaking to delegates at the annual Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) conference last week, MEP and European Parliament rapporteur for waste Caroline Jackson conceded that the wording agreed in the revised Waste Framework Directive (WFD)was far from perfect, but explained that with 27 member states and 700-odd MEPs involved in negotiations, compromises had to be made. At some point you come to a moment where legislation has to be adopted, she said.
Article 11, clause 2 of the WFD states: By 2020 the preparing for re-use 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.
Jackson confirmed that the wording possibly from other origins as far as these waste streams are similar to waste from households meant it could be applied to business waste.
There was mention that it might include business waste like paper waste. It could apply to green waste and it could apply to business waste. We bang on about household waste and I dont know why the Commission hasnt tackled business waste, she said.
But she added this was a challenge for those in the industry as well as the European Parliament to take up and invited delegates to e-mail her with their concerns.
On the topic of whether the new energy efficiency formula for Energy from Waste facilities was relevant to the UK, Jackson said: It is perfectly possible to be relevant. All we need is a bit of grit and leadership, using locally produced non-recyclable waste for fuel.
Jackson said the Landfill Diversion targets would drive local authorities to put a toe in the energy from waste pool and that energy from waste and recycling should go hand in hand.