A new major report from Europe warns that Nordic countries need to drop the waste to energy incineration industry in favour of recycling, zero waste policy and a circular economy agenda.
The executive summary:
“The clearest area of required change will be a significant shift away from incineration (and in Iceland, landfilling) towards recycling. This is likely to include:
- a dramatic increase in coverage (both in terms of proportion on population covered and materials collected) of separate door-to-door collection of recyclables and biowaste;
- the introduction of more sorting capacity for mixed waste after separate collection has been maximised. This will help to capture more material for recycling (especially plastic) and to reduce the carbon intensity of municipal waste incineration fuels;
- the reform of policies that will help to drive this shift towards much higher rates of recycling, perhaps including:
- increased taxes or bans on recyclable materials and biowaste entering incineration plants;
- reform of extended producer responsibility systems, regarding municipal waste especially in respect of packaging, this will be a requirement for EU Member States as a result of the 2018 revisions to the Waste Framework Directive with minimum requirements specified.
- the development of new recycling and biowaste infrastructure; and
- behaviour change interventions for very high material capture rates to be possible. This could include use of pay-as-you-throw systems or other communications initiatives backed by economic incentives (e.g. fines and surcharges) and enforcement.
Don’t believe the hype about EU incinerators….Zero Waste is Climate Justice…We can’t burn our way out of climate change!!!