Trittin domestic waste policy switch criticised

Baden Württemberg attacks move to enable continued use of mechanical-biological treatment

The German state of Baden Württemberg has attacked a move by the federal environment ministry to alter national rules on domestic waste handling to enable continued use of a technique known as mechanical-biological treatment (MBT) (ENDS Daily 23 August). In a statement released on Friday, Baden Württemberg's environment minister Ulrich Müller said that the federal government had failed to show clearly that MBT was ecologically acceptable. Mr Müller also alleged that a federal environment agency report on MBT used by the government to justify its policy switch actually concluded that waste incineration was the greener option. The dispute centres around Germany's technical regulations on domestic waste (TASi). In their current form, these demand that from 2005 all waste should be pre-treated before landfilling to meet a maximum limit of 5% organic content - a reduction that MBT cannot achieve. After the previous federal government attempted to force the mainly eastern states that favoured MBT into investing in incineration capacity, the current incumbent Jürgen Trittin signalled this spring that he would consider altering the rules to enable continued use of MBT (ENDS Daily 31 May). Baden Württemberg is not among the states in favour of MBT.

Follow Up:
Baden Württemberg environment ministry,, +49 711 1262781; German environment ministry,, tel: +49 30 28550.

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