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Europe's cities call for 70% recycling rate by 2025

Posted by Sue
on 25 October 2013

The Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and Sustainable Resource Management (ACR+) and the EU Committee of Regions (CoR), which represents councils from each of the EU Member States, said that ‘consistency’ between the different targets laid out across the EU is vital.

In the UK, the ACR+ group has the support of the Waste & Resources Action Programme as well as local authorities including the North London Waste Authority, Belfast city council and Milton Keynes council.

Incineration

The consultation period for the Commission’s review, which is headed by UK-based waste consultancy Eunomia, closed on September 10. Stakeholders were asked their views on future recycling targets for household and commercial waste, as well as whether there should be a maximum level of incineration for different waste streams.

In its response, ACR+ urged that the Commission consider raising the recycling target of municipal waste to 70% by 2025 - a significant rise on the current target to recycle 50% by 2020 - as well as calling for material-specific targets for packaging waste of 80% for metal, paper and cardboard and 70% for glass.

The group has also called for a ban on the incineration of recyclable waste by 2020, and a prohibition on sending biodegradable waste to landfill by the same year.

Measurements

Meanwhile, ACR+ went on to argue that the definitions of waste and the measurements used by Member States  to gauge their progress towards the targets must be standardised, as it claimed that this would lead to ‘clear benchmarking’ for local and regional authorities. It added that a platform where states could exchange

The response from the European bodies echoes that of the UK reprocessing sector trade body the Resource Association, which said that higher targets would be needed if recycling rates are to rise across Europe (see letsrecycle.com story).

Related links

ACR+

EU Consultation

But this is at odds with the view of the waste management sector trade body the Environmental Services Association, which said that given the disparity in performance among current Member States, unachievably high recycling targets in poor performing states would not be ‘credible’ (see letsrecycle.com story)

Eunomia is currently in the process of analysing the responses from the consultation and will establish a number of preferred options, due to be completed in spring 2014.
The review was triggered by clauses in each of the Directives stating that they must be subject to regular evaluation, with the European Commission keen to ensure that they contribute to reducing waste, maximising recycling rates and decreasing landfill use.

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