EU end-of-waste criteria for compost

The EU executive  organised a stakeholder meeting to determine which types of biodegradable waste can be designated as “products”.

  • Such a definition would allow the waste to be used as fertiliser.
  • Countries’ compliance with the forthcoming EU criteria will be voluntary, but if treated waste does not meet the EU criteria, it can only be marketed within national borders.
  • Member states must agree a regulation on the criteria, as required under the EU’s Waste Framework Directive.

The process of deciding the criteria has been delayed because of disagreement over criteria for compost.

  • The latest study from the EU’s joint research centre (JRC) suggests that compost from unsorted waste and sewage sludge should be accepted as products.
  • Some large member states oppose such an inclusion on the grounds that compost from such unsorted waste may contain unacceptable levels of pollutants
  • This uncertainty could lower compost buyers’ confidence in product quality, result in the need for more regular testing thus increasing costs.

JRC Biodegradable waste subject to biological treatment

ECOS Environmental Consultants Limited