Glossary:Recycling of waste

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Recycling of waste is defined as any recovery operation by which waste materials are reprocessed into products, materials or substances whether for the original or other purposes.

It includes the reprocessing of organic material but does not include energy recovery and the reprocessing into materials that are to be used as fuels or for backfilling operations.

The differentiation between the terms reuse, recycling and recovery is important for the understanding and application of the targets stated in EU waste legislation.

Definitions for recycling and reuse in waste specific Directives partially deviate from the corresponding definitions of the Waste Framework Directive:

  1. The term recycling specified in waste specific Directives does in particular not include backfilling operations.
  2. Reuse as defined in the Packaging Directive 94/62/EC and the WEEE Directive 2002/96/EC comprises specifications, the Waste Framework Directive does not include.

Further information

  • Waste Framework Directive:
  • Waste specific Directives:

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