The Economic and Social Committee (ESC) unanimously adopted on 28 November 1991 an opinion on the Commission's proposal for a Council Directive on the landfill of waste (COM(91) 102 of 22.5.1991). The proposal derives from the Council Resolution of 7 May 1990 (OJ No C 122 of 22.7.1991) establishing guidelines for an overall Community strategy on waste management. The ESC welcomes the intention to take further steps in harmonizing standards, thus securing a high level of environmental protection, and calls on the Commission to adopt comprehensive measures incorporating proposals to regulate individual "end of pipe" disposal technologies. Such measures should be based on "prevention at source", as a means of reducing the amount of waste for disposal, requiring action at every stage of the process of production, distribution and consumption, including economic and fiscal incentives for the use of reusable materials, less packaging, and pretreatment of waste to reduce its quantity and toxicity. Active involvement of consumers should also be sought via a programme of education for selective waste collection and ecologically-aware consumption. Research and technical progress with regard to landfill merits attention; the Committee notes that a new discipline "landfill archeology" is contributing to knowledge on landfill and the decomposition processes involved.
Policy making and guidelines
22 October 1993