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Landfilling down as Europe shifts to better waste management

The EEA report 'Diverting waste from landfill' finds that the EU Landfill Directive has been a positive force in altering management of biodegradable municipal waste in the EU. The study explains how setting medium- and long-term targets for reducing landfilling has helped countries to define waste strategies and target investments.

Adopted in 1999, the Landfill Directive was a milestone in EU waste policy. It responded to shortages of landfill capacity in some Member States, as well as methane emissions and water and soil pollution, which were serious concerns by the mid-1990s. The Directive aims to divert refuse from landfill, encouraging re-use, recycling and recovery.

Ten years on, is there a success story to tell? Is the EU succeeding in shifting waste from landfill to more environmentally-friendly ways of managing waste? Which strategies and measures have proven most effective in different national and regional contexts?

The EEA report released today analyses and compares waste management in Estonia, Finland, the Flemish Region of Belgium, Germany, Hungary and Italy to find out how practices and policies have shifted in the last decade. From the strategies and measures reviewed, it extracts important conclusions for policy-makers across the EU that will help in meeting the Directive's next targets in 2016 and beyond. 

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100