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.