A new European Commission directive on the Landfill of Waste looks likely to be adopted. “So what?” I hear you say, yet another piece of bureaucracy to deal with; yet another piece of euro-legislation which is supposed to boost recycling in the waste and house clearance industry in theory, but is unworkable in practice. This one however is worth considering. Reports suggest that this new directive would require waste to be treated before landfilling. This means, presumably, that it would have to be separated and sorted for recyclables before it could be dumped which is a common practice within the reputable house clearance business. The other interesting factor is that waste with a total organic content of more than 10% could not be landfilled.
These new regulations look set to replace the old landfill directive which, earlier this year, was rejected by the European Parliament as too lenient. The environment commissioner Ritt Bjerregaard has therefore opted for an even more hard-line approach in her bid to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. If this new directive is adopted then the UK’s waste management & house clearance industry would have to move towards even more recycling, more incineration and less landfilling. It is predicted that many recycling projects could become more viable, if waste disposal costs escalate. This could mean that recycling will benefit, although care should be taken that incineration does not become the favoured option. For once this could mean good news for the industry. As usual, the UK government is expected to oppose the new law, and, no surprises here, France and Germany support it.