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Resource Efficiency

European Environment Agency’s work on waste management


The European Environment Agency (EEA) is an agency of the European Union. Its role is to provide sound, independent information on the environment. One of the EEA’s topic areas is waste and material resources and it has a number of ongoing initiatives to help those involved in developing, adopting, implementing and evaluating environmental policy, and the general public. Read more…

The 33 EEA member countries include the 28 European Union Member States together with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. The EEA works closely with national focal points, typically national environment agencies or environment ministries. Its work on waste consists of analysis and assessments to support EU and national policies.

The EEA works in partnership with the European environment information and observation network (EIONET) to provide timely and quality-assured data for assessing the state of the environment in Europe. Through EIONET, the EEA compiles waste management information on what each country did, what worked and what did not work. Sharing such information helps countries to find better ways to implement and be inspired by others.

EU members are bound by the Waste Framework Directive (WFD), which lays down basic waste management principles. It requires waste to be managed in such a way that it does not endanger human health or harm the environment. One of the EEA’s initiatives is to track progress made by countries to see if they are moving up the waste hierarchy (that is, they are recycling more and sending less to landfill). Along with the WFD, the EEA analyses progress towards other EU legislation on specific waste streams, such as batteries.

The WFD requires all EU countries to adopt programmes, outlining what they are planning to do for waste prevention. EEA is reviewing these programmes and will publish its findings later this year. It is also working on developing three new indicators on waste generation, recycling and diversion from landfill.

Find more info:

EEA Waste and material resources website


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