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Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European [...], Taking sustainable use of resources forward: A Thematic Strategy on the prevention and recycling of waste, COM(2005) 666 final

Funded under: FP6-SUSTDEV

Abstract

Waste is an environmental, social and economic challenge for Europeans. For some, it conjures up negative images: rubbish bags, litter and toxic waste dumps. For others, waste is an opportunity - Europe�s drive to deal with waste in environmentally sound ways has generated jobs and business opportunities. The waste management and recycling sector has a high growth rate and has an estimated turnover of over EUR 100 billion for EU-25. It is labourintensive and provides between 1.2 and 1.5 million jobs. The recycling industry is providing increasing amounts of resources to manufacturing industry: at least 50% of the paper and steel, 43% of the glass and 40% of the non-ferrous metal produced in the EU are currently derived from recycled materials.
In the last 30 years waste has been at the centre of EU environment policy and substantial progress has been made. Heavily polluting landfills and incinerators are being cleaned up.
New techniques have been developed for the treatment of hazardous waste. Hazardous substances are being removed from vehicles and electrical and electronic equipment. The levels of dioxins and other emissions from incineration are being reduced.
With time, waste is increasingly seen as a valuable resource for industry. Approaches such as re-use, recycling and energy recovery are starting to be applied to regulated wastes - packaging waste, end-of-life vehicles, waste electrical and electronic equipment, biodegradable waste and tyres. Diversion of biodegradable waste from landfills and increasing recycling and recovery are contributing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
However, despite these successes, waste remains a problem. Waste volumes continue to grow. Legislation is, in some cases, poorly implemented and there are significant differences between national approaches. The potential for waste prevention and recycling is not yet fully tapped.

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Record Number: 7260 / Last updated on: 2006-03-21
Category: COM DOCUMENT
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