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Waste legislation in Europe

By EU January 29, 2018

EU Waste Legislation


Several pieces of consolidated EU waste legisation can be downloaded from the European Union CELEX site, but please note that this is not complete.
Specific links to individual pieces of EU waste management legislation are provided below, divided into five main sub-categories:

Framework European Union legislation on waste
European Union legislation on waste management operations
European Union legislation on specific waste streams
Reporting and questionnaire legislation
Useful links to other in/directly related legislation

Within each sub-category, the individual legislative instruments are listed in chronological order of adoption of the main pieces of legislation.  Where ancillary legislation is in existance, this is listed in chronological order below the parent legislative instrument.

Various instruments have not yet been made available on CELEX in full electronically, so that annexes, diagrams and tables are unable to be downloaded. In respect of some of these, there is though a facility via CELEX called 'TIF' which is able to deliver a full version - for this the user must click on the pale blue icon marked 'TIF' under the CELEX title of the instrument to order a copy by email.

Summary of EU Waste Legislation

The Waste Framework Directive, revised in 2008, streamlines waste legislation, incorporating rules on a number of issues such as the management of hazardous waste and waste oils.

Other pieces of EU waste legislation:

• The Regulation on waste shipments aims to ensure the safe shipment of all types of waste, including hazardous waste;

• The Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive sets standards for the design of packaging and lays down specific targets for the recycling and recovery of waste packaging;

• The EU’s Landfill Directive and the Waste Incineration Directive set standards and limits for the release of pollution into the air or into groundwater;

• The End-of-Life Vehicles Directive sets rising re-use, recycling and recovery targets and restricts the use of hazardous substances in both new vehicles and replacement vehicle parts;

• Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) legislation lays down collection, recycling and recovery targets for electrical goods;

• The Directive on the Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment restricts the use of hazardous substances in electronics;

• The Batteries Directive sets collection, recycling and recovery targets, thereby ensuring their proper waste management;

• Legislation also targets specific waste streams such as sewage sludge, batteries, polychlorinated biphenyls and polychlorinated terphenyls (PCBs/PCTs).


NB: USER WARNING - The authoritative version of the legislation is contained exclusively in the Official Journal of the European Communities.

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