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EU Waste Directive approved as green waste ambiguity continues

As the final rubber stamping of the EU Waste Framework Directive was completed by the European Council of Ministers yesterday, debate continues over the inclusion of green waste.

By approving the Directive the council has agreed revisions to the Directive which were finalised in June. Member States are required to transpose the Directive into national law within two years. However, debate about the interpretation of the text for the UK, particularly concerning green waste inclusion in recycling targets, goes on.

Speaking to MRW earlier this month about the Directives position on including green waste in recycling targets, MEP Caroline Jackson said: Its not clear from the text my understanding is that we did not expect green waste to be included. It could be because its a permissive text. (MRW October 8 2008)

Back in July, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs confirmed that green waste would be included in targets to recycle 50% of household waste by 2020. It said the UK would interpret the new EU target as meaning that 50% of household waste in total has to be recycled by 2020, rather than 50% of each of the four named materials, paper, metal, plastic and glass. (MRW July 10 2008).

However, more recently Jackson told MRW (MRW October 8) that including green waste would go against the spirit of the Directive.

In more general terms, other waste industry organisations have welcomed the Directives approval. Environmental Services Association (ESA) chief executive Dirk Hazell said: ESA is delighted that the Council of Ministers has given their seal of approval to the new Waste Framework Directive.  

Thanks to the brilliant steering of this Directive through the European Parliament by the Rapporteur, Dr Caroline Jackson MEP, it will now help to make Europe more economically and environmentally sustainable as we work to build Europes Recycling Society.


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