Recycling group rejects EU waste shipment proposals

Proposals to tighten EU legislation on waste shipment are being opposed by a recycling lobby group. The recommended changes include more form filling for non-hazardous waste, which would be costly and could breach commercial confidentiality, says the group.

European metal and recycling federations have joined forces with the Bureau of International Recycling to protest at proposed amendments to EU Waste Shipment Regulations. Changes suggested by the European Commission will affect trade in secondary raw materials, creating tougher regulations than those set by the Office for Economic Co-operation and Development, says the group.

A major concern is a proposed new form that will have to be filled out for non-hazardous waste. The new form would require all exporter and importer details to be included, and might be posted on EU authorities’ websites, as is sometimes done in the case of hazardous waste. The recycling group is concerned that this practice would constitute a breach of confidentiality, threatening business competitiveness. The form would also create an administrative burden where, for example, the steel scrap industry would be handling an extra 500,000 forms a year, argues the group.

The federations point to 1993 legislation stipulating that non-hazardous materials should not be overburdened with regulations when they are being recovered and recycled. “Green waste was, and presently is, supposed to be exempt from Regulation control procedures,” protests the group.

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