Commission proposes tailored roadmaps to help member states to get on track with waste management

Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik is participating in a high level seminar in Brussels to help member states that are lagging behind in sustainable waste management practices. The aim is to help optimise their waste policies through tailored Roadmaps with practical recommendations, focusing on the effective implementation of EU waste legislation.

According to the European Commission, whereas some member states manage to put those resources to productive use, recycling or composting around 60% of their municipal waste, others struggle to manage it. A high level seminar organised in Brussels by the Commission intends to help member states that are lagging behind in sustainable waste management practices with tailored roadmaps. Recently, Eurostat published that 40% of treated municipal waste was recycled or composted in 2011.

The proposed roadmaps emphasise the need to use economic instruments to improve municipal waste management, such as landfill and incineration taxes and bans, producer responsibility schemes, and incentives to promote waste prevention, reuse and recycling (e.g. "pay as you throw" systems). Improved monitoring and statistics, intensifying separate collection, better governance, updating waste management strategies, and measures to increase public participation are other recommendations in the roadmaps.

In addition, according to the Commission, roadmaps note that future investments in waste management should prioritise prevention, reuse, recycling and composting – the preferred options in the waste hierarchy set out in the Waste Framework Directive. This recommendation echoes the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014-2020, where new ex-ante conditions in the context of EU structural funds stipulate that projects to be financed should be consistent with the waste hierarchy and should help Member States meet legally binding EU targets, such as the 50% recycling target for municipal waste.