Honing our techniques
European Union waste regulations define a large number of best available technique references that serve as a minimum standard. However, the most advanced circular economies, including the Netherlands and Belgium, go further than these European references.
For example, in the Netherlands, there is a ban on landfill for all but a few types of waste for which there are no alternative solutions. In addition, a number of recyclable waste streams may no longer be incinerated, and a tax on incineration has been introduced.
In Flanders, Belgium, there are also explicit landfill and incineration bans, a recycling obligation, and separate collection requirements and sorting rules, which have been in force since 2012. The most recent adaptation of Vlarema, the Flemish regulation on the sustainable management of material cycles and waste, which is effective from May 2021, determines how the incineration ban on recyclable materials is to be met.
Explicit regulations that support the best available technologies also support Renewi’s purpose of protecting the world by giving new life to used materials.
The Netherlands and Belgium lead the way in Europe on waste management, with countries such as the UK and France currently relying more extensively on fiscal measures; for instance, taxation to direct waste away from landfill.
We anticipate that several other European countries will progress towards being advanced recycling economies during the next decade, making them interesting.