Waste Framework Directive

ECN demands a recycling target for separately collected municipal bio-waste

The Commission started the impact assessment (IA) that will accompany the legislative proposal in 2023. The Commission’s 4-week public consultation on its call for evidence for an IA closed on 22 February 2022. A total of 198 comments was submitted by stakeholders. ECNs answer to the consultation is available here.

As part of the consultation strategy, a 12-week open public consultation is planned for March 2022 but it could be delayed to April 2022. Moreover, DG ENV will carry out targeted consultations with major stakeholder groups focusing on the problem analysis, objectives and impacts.

In the official document for the consultation, the European Commission announced the main policy options that will be analyzed in the IA. On top of assessing the impact of strengthening enforcements of existing provisions and providing additional guidance, the European Commission will consider new regulatory developments, such as: introducing targets on waste reduction and/or residual waste reduction; expanding the role of EPR schemes in attaining waste-prevention objectives; clarifying and/or restricting the scope of derogations provided for in Article 10(3) WFD; introducing minimum requirements for source segregation and separate collection of waste that facilitates a separate collection of used items for re-use and the preparation for re-use and high-quality recycling of waste; reinforcing the “the polluter pays” principle by expanding EPR schemes to other product categories, like textiles and oils; improving enforcement of EPR requirements, in particular for products sold online to customers in the EU; setting waste oil collection and regeneration targets.

ECN has pointed out that the IA should further study the impact of setting a reduction target on the amount of bio-waste disposed in residual waste; and setting a recycling target for separately collected bio-waste. The ECN supports the development and introduction of minimum requirements for source segregation and separate collection for high quality recycling with the objective of avoiding contamination of recyclable waste. The ECN believes this measure will provide more clarity and certainty for the recyclers on the responsibilities and enforcement for quality concerns of bio-waste.

ECN is actively involved in the revision process and will take part in the next dedicated workshop on 30th March 2022. The workshop is organized by the contracted consultancy consortium for the IA (Ramboll, Eunomia, Arcadis, BIO Innovation Service, RDC Environment, Centre for European Policy Studies, VVA Brussels - contract and award notice available here).