Italian waste definition ruled inoperable

Court confirms that business-friendly definition is out of line with established EU rules

An Italian decree narrowing the definition of waste to reduce regulatory burdens on business has been undermined by a court in the northern city of Udine, which has found it to be out of line with the EU waste definition. Opponents of the decree have greeted the judgement as a landmark decision that deals a severe blow to the government's "liberal" waste policy.

Passed in July, the decree removed from the waste definition any scrap materials that can be re-used in an industrial process without further treatment. Experts immediately challenged its compatibility with the EU's wider waste definition (EED 11/07/02). The European Commission said it would investigate the matter (EED 11/09/02).

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