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CEEP – CoR Landfill Conference, 16th of July 2009

Date

20 Jul 2009

Sections

Social Europe & Jobs

Final Declaration of CEEP

I. Preliminary note

The directors of the major national federations of local public enterprises and local authorities active in the field of waste management as well as the representatives of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the European Commission have come together for a CEEP conference about landfill on July 16th, 2009 in Brussels. The conference broached the issue that exactly on the 16th of July 2009 the requirements of the EU landfill directive (1999/31/EC) had to be met completely. More than 60 participants from around 10 EU-countries; presidents, local public representatives, managing directors and other stakeholders working in the waste management sector in Europe joined this discussion.

According to the EU directive on the landfill of waste the operation of any landfill must end on this day if it does not meet its requirements. The stakeholders discussed the current state of play within the European Union as well as the future challenges for the European public enterprises and local entities.

II. State of play

In this sense, the participants acknowledge the following issues:

- Damages caused to the environment are irreversible. Non-professional constructed landfill sites cause unalterable damage to human beings and the whole environment.

- According to the official data of the European Commission, the situation in Europe is still very diverse with respect to a satisfactory landfill management. In the EU a huge amount not only of municipal solid waste and commercial solid waste still is disposed in landfills.

- Modern waste management has to consider that the hierarchy of waste treatment (prevention, re-use, recycling, recovery, disposal) needs to be complied with, taking into consideration the diversity of possible and proved (public or market-based) models.

- Waste can have a high value in terms of energy production as well as a raw material. Therefore in general landfilling means a loss of secondary raw materials.

- Waste management following the European waste hierarchy with preference for the idea of saving and recycling waste can make a high contribution in fighting climate change.

- There is a need for a paradigm change by abandoning landfill at least for municipal waste and commercial waste and to shift to high quality disposal and management of resources.

III. Demands

Therefore, the participants request the EU institutions to bear in mind the following issues:

1. The European landfill policy needs to be seen as a competition for the highest standards rather than a competition for the lowest price by the European Institutions.

2. Landfilling remains an operational option for managing waste when considering the various situations across the EU.

3. The positive correlation between GDP and the amount of waste must be cut.

4. The European Union has to collect sufficient data in order to get an accurate overview about the situation with respect to landfill. This also includes data on illegal landfills. The idea of an implementation agency has to be followed up.

5. The European institutions have to differentiate between the various situations within the European Member States. Countries which joined the EU recently must be treated in a different way than the older members.

6. The European waste hierarchy needs to take more into account the exploitation of waste as secondary raw material.

7. The European Commission is invited to support the existing landfilling sites in better exploiting secondary raw materials and resources.

8. Finally, the participants agree that time has come for the EU to take concrete steps to accelerate the compliance with the landfill directive in all of its Member States, while not loosing sight of its perfectioning in light of the current information, knowledge and experiences. Dissemination of success stories and good practice would be a good start.

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