The recycling sector has been asked whether a European Union (EU) biowaste law is required to reduce the amount of organic material that is landfilled in Europe. In a new green paper, the European Commission notes that biowaste usually comprises 30-40% of the 41% of municipal solid waste that is on average landfilled in the EU.
The big problem here is that such dumped waste emits methane, a powerful greenhouse gas which is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide and a major contributor to climate change, stressed Brussels.
While biowaste is already regulated within the EU by legislation such as the landfill directive, the incineration directive and others, the Commission said it was working on end-of-waste criteria for compost and guidelines for bio-waste management. The paper considers whether new legislation could help direct more bio-waste towards recycling and energy recovery, with an impact assessment planned for 2009. Consultation on the green paper is open until March 15 2009.
For more information see http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/compost/index.htm