Council Directive 99/31/EC of 26 April 1999 on the landfill of waste entered into force on 16.07.1999. The deadline for implementation of the legislation in the Member States was 16.07.2001.
The objective of the Directive is to prevent or reduce as far as possible negative effects on the environment from the landfilling of waste, by introducing stringent technical requirements for waste and landfills.
The Directive is intended to prevent or reduce the adverse effects of the landfill of waste on the environment, in particular on surface water, groundwater, soil, air and human health.
It defines the different categories of waste (municipal waste, hazardous waste, non-hazardous waste and inert waste) and applies to all landfills, defined as waste disposal sites for the deposit of waste onto or into land. Landfills are divided into three classes:
The Directive does not apply to:
A standard waste acceptance procedure is laid down so as to avoid any risks:
The following wastes may not be accepted in a landfill:
The Directive sets up a system of operating permits for landfill sites. Applications for permits must contain the following information:
Member States must ensure that existing landfill sites may not continue to operate unless they comply with the provisions of the Directive as soon as possible.
Member States must report to the Commission every three years on the implementation of the Directive.
On the basis of these reports, the Commission must publish a Community report on the implementation of the Directive.
Assessing legal compliance with and implementation of the waste acceptance criteria and procedures by the EU-15
(a similar study is being carried out for the EU-12. The final report will be published before the summer break 2010)
Information on islands and isolated settlements exempted by Member States under Article 3(4) of the Landfill Directive
Pursuant to Article 3(4) of the Landfill Directive Member States may declare, at their own option, parts or all of Articles 6d), 7i), 8a)iv), 10, 11 1) a), b) and c), 12a) and c), Annex I, points 3 and 4, Annex II except point 3, level 3, and point 4) and Annex III, points 3 to 5 to this Directive not applicable to:
A) landfill sites for non-hazardous or inert wastes with a total capacity not exceeding 15 000 tonnes or with an annual intake not exceeding 1 000 tonnes serving islands, where this is the only landfill on the island and where this is exclusively destined for the disposal of waste generated on that island. Once the total capacity of that landfill has been used, any new landfill established on the island shall comply with the requirements of this Directive;
B) landfill sites for non-hazardous waste or inert waste in isolated settlements if the landfill is destined for the disposal of waste generated only by that isolated settlement.
By 16 July 2003 Member States had to notify the Commission of the list of islands and isolated settlements that are exempted. The Commission shall publish the list of islands and isolated settlements.
To date the Commission has received such lists from two Member States: