UK consults on new EU waste rules

Landfill directive will require "major changes" in current practices says government

The UK government today stressed that the 1999 EU landfill directive would force "major changes" in waste disposal practices and called for comments on detailed proposals to implement the law in England and Wales. The consultation covers all aspects of the directive except its requirement for a progressive reduction in biodegradable waste landfilling, on which a separate process was launched last Autumn (ENDS Daily 6 October 1999).

Key changes that will affect the British waste industry and waste producers include a requirement to classify all landfill sites as accepting only hazardous, non-hazardous or inert wastes, the government says. This will end the UK's current practice of "co-disposing" of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes and could push up prices for hazardous waste disposal.

All wastes going to landfill will have to undergo some form of pre-treatment to cut their volume or hazardousness or aid recovery. The consultation paper predicts that waste producers will in practice be forced to take responsibility for this. Waste producers will also have to find alternative disposal routes for materials such as liquid wastes, vehicle tyres and certain hazardous wastes that will be banned from landfills.

Follow Up:
UK environment ministry, tel: +44 20 79 44 30 00, a press release and the consultation paper.

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