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Here are summaries of some of the EC Directives that deal with waste management issues. As a Member State of the European Community we must comply with them.
It requires that Member States take action to restrict the amount of waste produced by promoting:
The Directive notes that it is important for the European Community as a whole and each Member State individually to work towards becoming self-sufficient in waste disposal. Furthermore, it requires that waste management plans be drawn up by each Member State.
The operative part of the Directive, which sets out the specific requirements of the Directive, is divided into Articles. Here is a summary of the main Articles:
Article 3: requires that Member States prevent or reduce the waste and its harmfulness by
It also states that the recovery of waste should be carried by:
in order to extract secondary raw materials as well as using waste to produce energy.
Article 4: requires that Member States take measures to ensure that waste is recovered or disposed of without harm to human health or the environment.
Article 5: states that a network of waste disposal facilities should be established. These facilities should incorporate the best available technology. It must enable the EC as a whole and each State individually to become self-sufficient in waste disposal. Also the network should be such that waste can be disposed of in the nearest facility to where it is produced.
Article 7: instructs Member States to draw up waste management plans.
Articles 8 - 17: deal with permits, registration, records and reports of waste disposal facilities.
This Directive prohibits, with effect from 1 January 1993, the placing on the market of:
This Directive requires Member States to introduce systems for the return and/or collection of used packaging so that it can be recovered or recycled.
Member States will ensure that users of packaging are given the necessary information about the management of packaging and packaging waste.
The main body of the Directive lays out the manner in which the above objectives are to be achieved. Here is a brief summary of some of the main points of the Directive:
Article 4 states that landfills should be classified as for:
This means that particular types of waste are to go to specific landfills.
Article 5 requires Member States to produce a strategy to reduce the amount of biodegradable waste going to landfills, which is to include recycling, composting, biogas production and materials/energy recovery.
It goes on to set out some specific targets for this. The Member States were given two years from the date of this Directive to set up legislation regarding the reduction on biodegradable waste. That means that it would have had to have been in place by 2001.
Following this, the quantity of biodegradable waste going to landfill would have to be reduced to:
However, Member States that landfilled 80% or more of their waste at the time of this Directive were given the option to defer the achievement of their targets by a further four years. This we have chosen to do.
The Article forbids that:
Article 6 specifies which types of waste are to go into which category of landfill.
The remaining Articles deal with the operation, management and monitoring of landfills.
The aim of the ELV Directive is to prevent waste from vehicles which can no longer be used. This can be done by reusing and recycling their components to protect the environment.
4 of the Directive states that manufacturers of vehicles should design
the Directive, the last person to own a vehicle before the end of its
life must be able to dispose of it free of charge.
This Directive states that "Member States should adopt appropriate measures to minimise the disposal of WEEE as unsorted municipal waste". In other words, we should not be throwing away waste electrical and electronic equipment along with general household waste due to its hazardous nature.
goes on to state that householders should have the option to return WEEE
free of charge, so that it can be recycled or have some of the components
recovered and the rest safely disposed of.
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