Targets - Waste

targets

There are a number of EU Directives which have introduced recovery and recycling targets – on packaging waste, end-of-life vehicles, batteries waste electrical and electronic equipment and construction and demolition waste, for example. Data on these waste streams is required to monitor Member State's compliance with the targets set out in the Directives.

Batteries

The Directive 2006/66/EC defines the targets for the collection rates and for the recycling efficiencies of batteries and accumulators.

  • Collection rate targets for portable batteries and accumulators are: 25 % by 26 September 2012, rising to 45 % by September 2016.

Recycling efficiencies must have been met for three types of batteries by no later than 26 September 2011. Recycling processes shall achieve the following minimum recycling efficiencies:

  • lead-acid batteries and accumulators – recycling efficiency of 65 % by average weight;
  • nickel-cadmium batteries and accumulators – recycling efficiency of 75% by average weight;
  • other batteries and accumulators – recycling of 50 % by average weight.

Lead and cadmium recycling (rate of recycled content) shall be performed to the highest degree technically feasible while avoiding excessive costs according to Directive 2006/66/EC. The first reference year for which Member States must report rates of recycled content is 2014.

Disposal

The Landfill Directive implemented targets to reduce the quantity of municipal waste landfilled, mainly in order to reduce the greenhouse gas impacts associated waste management but also to support the circular economy and move waste up the waste hierarchy to reuse and recycling.
 
The initial target related to the reduction of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) only (Article 5(2)). With 1995 as the reference year (100% by weight), BMW to landfill had to be reduced to:
 
• 75% in 2006 (2010)
• 50% in 2009 (2013)
• 35% in 2016 (2020)

 
Note: brackets show the target year for Member States that have been granted a 4 year derogation due to relatively lower performance in the baseline year of 1995 i.e. >80% landfill rate in 1995.
 
As part of the Circular Economy Package, the Landfill Directive was updated in 2018 and a further target was included (Article 5(5)). The following target is the maximum amount of total municipal waste that must be landfilled:
 
• 10% in 2035 (2040)
 
Note: the bracket shows the target year for Member States that have been granted a 5 year derogation due to relatively lower performance i.e. >60% landfill rate in 2013. If the derogation is applied, the Member State must still ensure that the total amount of landfilled municipal waste does not exceed 25% in 2035.

End of life vehicles (ELVs)

The Directive stipulates that Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that the following targets are attained by economic operators:

  • no later than 1 January 2006, for all end of life vehicles, the reuse and recovery shall be increased to a minimum of 85 % by an average weight per vehicle and year. Within the same time limit the reuse and recycling shall be increased to a minimum of 80 % by an average weight per vehicle and year;
  • no later than 1 January 2015, for all end of life vehicles, the reuse and recovery shall be increased to a minimum of 95 % by an average weight per vehicle and year. Within the same time limit, the re-use and recycling shall be increased to a minimum of 85 % by an average weight per vehicle and year.

Incineration

Incineration is widespread in a number of European Member States, such as Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. The environmental impacts associated with Energy from Waste processes are controlled by both the Waste Incineration Directive and the Large Combustion Plant Directive.

They aim is to ensure that certain pollutants are kept within recommended limits and, to some extent, the externalities associated with combusting wastes are internalised.

Municipal waste

The treatment of municipal waste is, to some extent, driven by landfill diversion targets of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) set out in the Landfill Directive (See Disposal section for more details).

However, the recent revision of the Waste Framework Directive (2008/98) includes the following target for household, and similar waste (which comprises the majority of Municipal Waste):

  • by 2020, the preparing for re-use and the recycling of waste materials such as at least paper, metal, plastic and glass from households and possibly from other origins as far as these waste streams are similar to waste from households, shall be increased to a minimum of overall 50 % by weight.

Packaging and packaging waste

In order to comply with the objectives of the Packaging and Packaging Waste  Directive (94/62/EC), Member States shall take the necessary measures to attain the following targets covering the whole of their territory laid down in the Commission Directive (2004/12EC)

Not all countries have the same deadline to attain the targets, the deadlines are laid down in the Commission Directive (2004/12EC)

For the ten Member States which joined the EU after 2004 (the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia) a later deadline was set in the Commission Directive (2005/20/EC). Romania and Bulgaria have also been granted specific derogations.

Recovery:

  • First stage (2001-targets): no later than 30 June 2001 between 50 % as a minimum and 65 % as a maximum by weight of packaging waste will be recovered or incinerated at waste incineration plants with energy recovery;
  • Second stage (2008-targets): no later than 31 December 2008 60 % as a minimum by weight of packaging waste will be recovered or incinerated at waste incineration plants with energy recovery;

Recycling:

  • First stage (2001-targets): no later than 30 June 2001 between 25 % as a minimum and 45 % as a maximum by weight of the totality of packaging materials contained in packaging waste will be recycled;
  • Second stage (2008-targets): no later than 31 December 2008 between 55 % as a minimum and 80 % as a maximum by weight of packaging waste will be recycled.

Recycling by materials:

  • First stage: no later than 30 June 2001 the following minimum recycling target for materials contained in packaging waste will be attained: 15 % for all materials.
  • Second stage: no later than 31 December 2008 the following minimum recycling targets for materials contained in packaging waste will be attained:
    • 60 % by weight for glass;
    • 60 % by weight for paper and board;
    • 22.5 % by weight for plastics, counting exclusively material that is recycled back into plastics;
    • 15 % by weight for wood.

Recovery (excluding energy recovery)

There are some key targets within the EU for the recovery of wastes. Within the revised Waste Framework Directive there are targets for the separate collection, reuse and recycling of wastes from Households and for Construction and demolition wastes:

  • By 2020, the preparing for re-use and the recycling of waste materials such as at least paper, metal, plastic and glass from households and possibly from other origins as far as these waste streams are similar to waste from households, shall be increased to a minimum of overall 50 % by weight.
  • By 2020, the preparing for re-use, recycling and other material recovery, including backfilling operations using waste to substitute other materials, of non-hazardous construction and demolition waste excluding naturally occurring material defined in category 17 05 04 in the list of waste shall be increased to a minimum of 70 % by weight.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

Targets for the collection and for the recycling and recovery of WEEE were established by Directive 2002/96/EC and are raised stepwise by recast Directive (2012/19/EU).

As of reference year 2019 the following targets apply:

  • Minimum rate for separate collection of WEEE:
     
    • 65% of EEE put on the market, calculated on the basis of the total weight of WEEE collected and the average weight of EEE put on the market in the three preceding years,
      OR
    • 85% of WEEE generated on the territory of the Member State.

Member States are free to choose the preferred measurement method.

  • Minimum targets for recovery and recycling /preparing for reuse for WEEE separately collected, per category of EEE
Category of EEE Recovery target Recycling / preparing for reuse
Temperature exchange equipment 85 80
Screens, monitors, and equipment containing screens having a surface greater than 100 cm² 80 70
Lamps n.a. 80
Large equipment (any external dimension more than 50 cm) 85 80
Small equipment (no external dimension more than 50 cm) 75 55
Small IT and telecommunication equipment (no external dimension more than 50 cm) 75 55

 

Note that since August 2018 the scope of Directive 2012/19/EU has been extended (”open scope”) and that the EEE categories have been redefined and reduced from formerly ten to six categories.

For more information, see this summary document of the Waste electrical and electronic equipment rates and targets.