European Commission WFD Clarification

The European Commission has released Guidance to clarify a couple of issues within the revised Waste Framework Directive which have been interpreted inconsistently across the continent.

The document confirms that European Member States are allowed to deviate from the Waste Hierarchy when treating waste if Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) shows a Hierarchy-deviating management process to have a lower overall environmental impact than a Hierarchy-following process.

The document also states that commingled collections can be used by Member States as a form of separate collection for paper, metal, plastics and glass. This is on the assumption that the quality of material, following post-collection separation, is of similar quality to the material collected by fully separate collections.

The clarification’s release has come approximately one month before Defra and The Campaign for Real Recyclng (CRR) are due back in Court where The English Government’s interpretation of the WFD, which included commingled collections as separate, is to undergo a Judicial Review.

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