Cembureau, the European cement producers’ association has voiced concern over aspects of the revised Waste Framework Directive (WFD), which seeks to lift the waste status of certain waste streams.
The proposed changes will reduce the total volume of waste and facilitate progress towards national waste reduction targets. The new directive could also promote resource efficiency by creating a market for new ex-waste products.
However, while Cembureau recognises that lifting the waste status can be justified for a limited selection of waste streams, it insists that the following strict criteria are met:
· Waste status should be lifted only for specific, non-hazardous, waste streams that are destined for material recycling
· waste status must not be lifted for mixed waste
· after sorting, the product must be free of contaminants and contain a maximum of 1% of impurities
· removal of waste status must only be considered once all recovery operations have been completed
Cembureau argues lifting the waste status should not become an easy way to by-pass waste legislation, and should not lead to a leakage of valuable ex-waste materials, circulating freely as products out of the EU. Moreover, lifting the waste status in the EU must not deprive the cement industry of an essential energy source and of access to valuable rawmaterials.
“Co-processing of waste in the cement industry is recognised as a ‘best practice’ when it comes to resource efficiency… [it] should be encouraged, not relocated outside of the EU where, at the very end of the product life, the strict environmental conditions imposed in the EU are not necessarily guaranteed.”