No 'one size fits all' solution for European municipal waste management
Bans and taxes help divert waste
Waste management strategies must be customised to individual national conditions if they are to prove effective
Jane Feehan, Project Manager for Environmental Policy Analysis at the EEA
'Although the overall objectives of our waste legislation are determined at EU-level, the onus is on Member States, not the EU, to make the right strategic choices for an effective outcome', says Jane Feehan, Project Manager for Environmental Policy Analysis at the EEA.
Shedding light on this, the EEA and its Topic Centre have developed a set of country factsheets containing information about national waste management within the EU-25. The fact sheets provide insights about:
- national legislative frameworks on waste
- types of policy instruments being used
- data on waste
- policies for reducing waste generation and shifting waste management away from landfill
The factsheets show that three groupings of countries exist with similar systems and levels of recycling, incineration and landfill in Europe (see — below). Success criteria for diverting waste from landfill seem to be combinations of landfill bans, landfill taxes and separate collection schemes in those countries with high material recovery and incineration with energy recovery.
Three country groupings defined by waste diversion strategy
EU-level waste legislation is instrumental in determining the overall objectives, but country-level implementation determines the waste management strategy. To gain insights into whether a strategic shift in broader waste management has occurred, and why, the EEA is currently analysing the approaches and combinations of policy instruments that countries are taking in the management of their municipal waste, particularly in the context of the Landfill Directive.
Download the brochure
- EEA Brochure: The road from landfilling to recycling: common destination, different routes
factsheets (via ETC/RWM website)