LIFE and waste recycling - Innovative waste management options in Europe - LIFE III - Europa EU
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European Commission Environment Directorate-General LIFE (“The Financial Instrument for the Environment”) is a programme launched by the European Commission and coordinated by the Environment Directorate-General (LIFE Unit - BU-9 02/1). The content of the publication “LIFE and waste recycling: Innovative waste management options in Europe” does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the institutions of the European Union. Authors: Nora Schiessler, Ed Thorpe, Wendy Jones, Leigh Philips. Editorial department: Eamon O’Hara (Astrale GEIE-AEIDL). Managing editor: Philip Owen (European Commission, DG Environment, LIFE Unit). LIFE Focus series coordination: Simon Goss (DG Environment, LIFE Communications Coordinator), Evelyne Jussiant (DG Environment, Communications Coordinator). Graphic design: Daniel Renders, Anita Cortés. Production: Monique Braem.� The following people also worked on this issue: Remo Savoia, Rosalinde Van der Vlies, Liga Blanka, Evija Brante, Pekka Hänninen, Zsuzsanna Kocsis-Kupper, Donald Lunan, Laura Nocentini, Claudia Pfirrmann, Katerina Raftopoulou, Mariona Salvatella, Gabriela Staicu, Peter Vissers. Acknowledge- ments: Thanks to all LIFE project beneficiaries who contributed comments, photos and other useful material for this report. Photos: Cover: LIFE00 ENV/D/000318, LIFE00 ENV/GR/000688, LIFE00 ENV/IT/000223, LIFE 99/TCY/CY/041. Inside: From the respective projects unless otherwise specified – This issue of LIFE Focus is published in English with a print-run of 5,000 copies and is also available online. Europe Direct is a service to help you find answers to your questions about the European Union. New freephone number: 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 A great deal of additional information on the European Union is available on the Internet. It can be accessed through the Europa server (http://europa.eu). Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2007 ISBN 978-92-79-07397-7 ISSN 1725-5619 © European Communities, 2007 Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged. Printed in Belgium Ecolabel Flower Printed on recycled paper that has been awarded the EU Ecolabel for graphic paper (http://ec.europa.eu/ecolabel/)
LIFE and waste recycling: Innovative waste management options in Europe I p. Klaus Kögler Head of Unit - Sustainable Production & Consumption Directorate-General for the Environment European Commission For more than 30 years, efforts to reduce and avoid the negative impacts of waste on the environment and human health have been central to EU environment policy. Significant progress has been made based on the principle of the waste hierarchy that prioritises waste prevention and sees landfill generally as the least favourable waste manage- ment option for the environment. Heavily polluting landfills and incinerators are being cleaned up. Re-use, recycling and energy recovery are being applied to regulated wastes. The diversion of biodegradable waste from landfills is an important contribution to limiting greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, while recycling and re-use are increasing, overall amounts of waste are still growing, increasing demand for primary resources and stress on eco-systems. This unsustainable trend reveals that, despite all progress achieved, the challenges for waste policy are still mounting and a lot still needs to be done. The new EU ‘”Thematic Strategy on the prevention and recycling of waste’” sets out the objectives and means by which the EU can further improve the management of waste and make better use of its material and energy resources. A closely related revision of the “Waste Framework Directive” will be voted on in the European Parliament and in the European Council in the coming months. In this context, now is an opportune moment to consider what promising and encouraging best practices already exist. The more than 290 waste-related projects co-financed since 1992 under the European Commission’s LIFE (Financial Instrument for the Environment) programme reveal some of the ways in which Europe’s waste management challenge can be successfully tackled. This LIFE-Focus brochure on “LIFE and waste recycling. Innovative waste management options in Europe” is there- fore published at just the right time. It presents 20 projects, which represent a small but valuable selection of the numerous successful waste-related LIFE initiatives that support the EU’s evolving waste policy. Covering the wide range and scope of activities carried out over the years, these projects not only refer to solutions to waste as a prob- lem, but also to opportunities to see waste as a valuable resource for industry, generating jobs and businesses. The projects serve to highlight some of the key principles around which European environment policy is built. They underline the value of information sharing and exchange and have the potential to contribute to the European Union’s long term vision: to become a recycling society that seeks to avoid waste and uses waste as a resource. Klaus Kögler Head of Unit - Sustainable Production & Consumption Directorate-General for the Environment European Commission
Foreword.................................1 Waste oils....................... 23 End-of-life vehicles ........ 41 The aim: Moving towards ICOL: Driving up waste SuperRubber: Turning used improved waste lube oil recycling rates in tyres into football pitches ....42 management...........................3 Greece...................................24 RENOFAP: Pioneering EU waste strategy and Used Oil’s Highway: the treatment and re-use legislation ...............................4 Romania’s first ever of diesel particulate filters.....45 management system for LIFE: Support for an evolving KYPROS: Sustainable waste oil ...............................27 EU waste policy......................9 management of end-of-life DOL-EL: Recovery of base vehicles in Cyprus . ..............46 Packaging and plastic oil fractions from used waste ............................. 11 oil lubricants..........................28 Hazardous waste............. 47 Paperfoam: The “baked Picked: Reducing nitrate Waste from the potato” reinvented as discharges from the steel sustainable packaging..........12 construction and industry ................................48 demolition sector............ 29 AFM: Cleaner, safer water PERCUS: Recovering filtration, thanks to recycled Recdemo: Concrete and valuable raw materials from glass bottles..........................14 compost from recycled spent alkaline etchant .........52 demolition waste . ................30 WPC-Recycle: ‘Greener’ out- door products from recycled PAROC-WIM: Innovative waste recycling in the Further projects focussing thermoplastic waste . ...........16 stone wool industry...............32 on recycling, re-use and recovery...............................51 Organic and EQuation: Linking life-cycle biodegradable waste . .... 17 assessment to sustainable List of available LIFE building.................................34 publications...........................53 RECASH: Recycling ash to enhance the sustainability Information on LIFE .............54 of biofuel production Waste electrical and from wood.............................18 electronic equipment...... 35 Bio Waste: Increasing HEATSUN: Pioneering the the composting of household management of IT waste bio-waste in Latvia . .............21 in Dublin................................36 ECOFILTER: Reducing SUMANEWAG: A major ammonia emissions and advance for e-waste odours from composting......22 management in Greece.........39 PIRR: New benchmarks in the recycling of dangerous technological waste .............40
LIFE and waste recycling: Innovative waste management options in Europe I p. The aim: Moving towards improved waste management The objectives of EU waste policy are to reduce the negative impact of waste on the environment and public health and to ensure the most efficient use of resources, particularly natural resources. Towards these goals, it aims to improve and strengthen measures to prevent the disposal of waste and promote its re-use, recycling or recovery. The challenges Every production process generates some form of waste and all material placed on the market is destined to become waste at one time or another. This has already resulted in ever growing waste mountains. Each year 1.3 billion tonnes of non-agricultural waste is generated in the European Union - some 58 million tonnes of European Commission which is hazardous. This amounts to a yearly average of 570kg of waste production for every man, woman and child in the EU-15 (300-350kg in the EU-10). Waste volumes are increasing at rates equalling and sometimes outpacing economic growth Waste represents an enormous loss of resources in the form of both materials The objectives resource management - environ- and energy. In addition, waste manage- mental policy needs to ensure that ment itself creates environmental dam- The significant and growing envi- any negative environmental impact age. Of the total waste generated in the ronmental, social and economic is minimised throughout the entire EU, 31% is currently landfilled, 42% is challenges presented by waste life-cycle of resources. Life-cycle recycled, 6% is incinerated with energy explain why the EU’s 6th Environ- thinking is also being introduced recovery and 21% is unaccounted for. ment Action Programme identifies into waste policy. Furthermore, more Landfilling and incineration contribute waste as one of its top four priori- ambitious waste prevention policies to pollution of the air, water and soil ties. This EU-level work is based on and re-use of products and compo- as well as noise and other nuisances. three principles: waste prevention; nents can also contribute to avoiding Furthermore, the economic costs of recycling and re-use; and improving the negative environmental impact municipal waste and hazardous waste final disposal and monitoring. from the extraction of primary raw management alone amount to around materials and their transformation in €75 billion a year. There have been waste policy production processes. successes, including increases in Waste is not just a serious problem; it recycling and reductions in dioxin For the EU, improving waste manage- is also a growing problem. Between emissions from municipal waste ment is about becoming an economi- 1990 and 1995 - in the EU-25 - waste incinerators. However, the greater cally and environmentally efficient generation rose 10% compared to a increases in waste generation mean recycling society that seeks to avoid GDP increase of only 6.5%. Munici- that the EU still has the challenge waste, or, where this is impossible, to pal waste is the single fastest grow- of decoupling the use of resources use it as a resource.. Supported with ing waste stream; it increased by 19% and the generation of waste from high environmental standards, this will between 1995 and 2003. The Joint the rate of economic growth. ensure the protection of human health Research Centre predicts that 42.5% and the environment against the more waste could be generated in An important tool to guide European harmful effects of waste and enable 2020 compared to 1995. efforts is the life-cycle approach to sustainable economic growth.
EU waste strategy and legislation In the face of the growing challenges posed by waste generation, treatment and disposal, the EU has placed waste management at the heart of its environment strategy. It has called for specific efforts on the prevention and recycling of waste and the sustainable use of resources. EU legis- lation has been adopted since the mid-1970s to provide a framework for action by the Member States towards the overall objective of improved waste management. ?????? LIFE04 ENV/FIN/000299 The key objective of the Thematic Strategy on waste prevention and recycling is to make Europe a real recycling society. Strategy The ‘worst’ options are identified as and management of wastes’ as one the use of landfill and incineration of its four priorities. The objective The EU strategy for waste manage- without energy recovery. This order is to ensure that the consumption ment, adopted in 1989 and reviewed of preference is known as the ‘waste of renewable and non-renewable in 19961, refers to prevention, re-use hierarchy’. resources does not exceed the carry- and recovery, optimisation of final ing capacity of the environment and disposal, and regulation of trans- The environment action pro- to achieve a decoupling of resource port as strategic guidelines for the grammes (EAP) represent the EU’s use from economic growth through management of waste in Europe. tool to define the priorities and objec- significantly improved resource effi- The document specifies that waste tives of European environment policy ciency and waste reduction. management should first of all aim at and to describe measures to be taken preventing waste generation. If that is to help implement its sustainable The 6th EAP specifically targets a not possible, material waste recycling development strategy. The 6th EAP2 20% reduction in the quantity of and the incineration of waste with - adopted in 2002 - established ‘the waste going to final disposal by 2010 energy recovery should be pursued. sustainable use of natural resources and a 50% reduction by 2050. To this
LIFE and waste recycling: Innovative waste management options in Europe I p. aim, it defines several actions, such Framework legislation be taken during transportation. Pro- as the improvement of existing waste cedures must take into account the management schemes and invest- One of the first legal measures taken principles of self-sufficiency, prox- ment in quantitative and qualitative to protect the environment at EU level imity of waste for disposal and prior prevention. Furthermore, it called for was the waste framework Direc- informed consent. the development of seven thematic tive (WFD)5 of 1975 (revised in 1991 strategies, including those on ‘the and codified in 2006). The WFD lays Processing and disposal sustainable use of natural resources’ down the principles for – and there- facilities and ‘the prevention and recycling of fore has a direct or indirect impact waste’, which were published by the on - all other EU legislation related The European Union has laid down European Commission on 21 Decem- to waste. It sets guidelines for waste strict conditions that need to be met ber 2005. management in Member States, by European waste facilities. Common including the obligation to take all technical operational standards aim at The Thematic Strategy on the sustain- necessary steps to prevent waste reducing the impact of the treatment able use of natural resources3 aims generation, to encourage re-use and and disposal of waste - particularly to reduce the negative environmental to ensure safe disposal. Provisions incineration and landfilling - on the impacts arising from the use of natu- relating to the establishment of an environment and human health. ral resources in a growing economy. integrated and adequate network of To achieve this it focuses on improv- disposal installations are intended to Based on the definition of differ- ing knowledge, understanding and make the Community self-sufficient ent waste and landfill categories, awareness of European resource use, in waste disposal. the Directive on landfill of waste8 developing monitoring tools, and fos- lays down a standard waste accep- tering strategic approaches and pro- The Thematic Strategy on prevention tance procedure to avoid risks. This cesses in specific economic sectors. and recycling of waste foresees a fur- includes the obligation that waste It stresses that policies need to move ther revision of the WFD as described be landfilled according to type and beyond emissions and waste control above. To improve implementation it treated before disposal. It defines if they are to reduce the environmen- seeks to oblige all EU Member States wastes not to be accepted in any tal impact of resource use; they must to develop national waste prevention landfill and sets up a system of oper- cover the whole life-cycle of resources programmes. To contribute to better ating permits for landfill sites. from collection to disposal. regulation it calls for the hazardous waste and waste oil Directives (see The Directive on waste incinera- A ‘European recycling society’ is below) to be merged with the WFD. tion9 covers waste incineration and the long-term vision of the The- ‘co-incineration’ plants - the main matic Strategy on the prevention The hazardous waste Directive 6 purpose of the latter being energy and recycling of waste 4. It seeks of 1991 laid down stringent require- generation or the production of mate- to promote a ‘recycling society’ in ments for the management of a list rial products. It introduced technical Europe and provides the framework of commonly defined hazardous for a comprehensive revision of EU wastes. It requires Member States Although the recycling of municipal waste policy in view of the priorities to ensure that hazardous waste is waste has been increasing, this has set on prevention and recycling in recorded, identified and not mixed been almost completely offset by an the EAP. The strategy calls for the with other hazardous or non-haz- increase in municipal waste generation. existing legal framework to be clari- ardous waste. It states that any fied, simplified, streamlined and also establishment carrying out disposal modernised with the introduction of operations must obtain a permit a life-cycle analysis in policymaking. and be subject to inspection. The It stresses that progress requires a competent authorities must publish renewed emphasis on full implemen- plans for the management of haz- tation of existing legislation and bet- ardous waste, to be evaluated by ter knowledge and information on the the Commission. current situation and best practice. More ambitious waste prevention The Regulation on the shipment of LIFE04 ENV/LV/000634 policies and common reference stan- waste7 sets out a system of control dards for recycling are also needed for the movement of waste; it speci- to prevent the threat of ‘eco-dump- fies the documentation to be pro- ing’ in Europe. vided and the security measures to
LIFE05 ENV FIN 000539 Waste hierarchy "%34 /04)/. 0REVENT WASTE IN THE FIRST PLACE Current EU waste policy is based on a concept known 2E USE THE PRODUCT as the ‘waste hierarchy’, which classifies the dif- 2ECYCLE THE PRODUCT ferent options for managing waste from ‘best’ to ‘worst’ from 2ECYCLE OR COMPOST THE MATERIAL an environmental perspective: 2ECOVER THE ENERGY BY INCINERATING prevention; re-use; recycling; recovery; and disposal. Although $ISPOSE OF THE PRODUCT IN A LANDFILL the waste hierarchy should not be seen as a rigid rule, the aim of 7/234 /04)/. moving towards a recycling and recovery society means moving up the hierarchy, away from environmentally dam- aging landfill and incineration procedures. Waste prevention awareness raising The Directive on waste electrical and The Directive on packaging and poster electronic equipment (WEEE)10 was packaging waste (adopted in 199412 introduced to tackle this fast growing and amended in 200413) supplemented requirements and operational condi- waste stream by setting targets for the Community measures14 first intro- tions for these plants, including the its separate collection, recovery and duced in the early 1980s, covering the obligation for plants to have prior recycling. It shifts responsibility to packaging of liquid beverage contain- authorisation. Emission limits are set producers for recycling electrical and ers intended for human consumption. for certain pollutants released into electronic equipment, which consum- The directive sets out measures and the air or water. ers can return to them free of charge. requirements for the prevention, re- This is complemented by the Directive use and recovery of packaging waste Special waste streams on the restriction of the use of cer- in Member States. It aims to harmonise tain hazardous substances (RoHS)11, national schemes to ensure the viabil- To complement the measures set out which requires the substitution of ity of collection and recycling activities above, the EU has adopted detailed various heavy metals and brominated within the internal market. legislation covering specific individ- flame retardants in new equipment ual waste streams. These typically entering the market. Together, these The 1975 waste oil Directive15, as last cover both preventative measures aim to provide incentives to improve amended by the 2000 waste incinera- and common rules for separate col- the design of electrical and electronic tion Directive, promotes the safe col- lection and treatment. equipment to facilitate recycling. lection and disposal of mineral-based lubricants or industrial oils which have become unfit for their original intended use. According to the direc- tive, Member States must ensure that waste oils are collected and disposed of appropriately. Priority should be given to refining and thus regenerating waste oils. Alternative procedures may include combustion, destruction, stor- age or tipping. The directive outlaws certain disposal methods and requires the registration and supervision of enti- ties engaged in waste oil collection or disposal. LIFE03 ENV/S/000596 Bunker to receive used vehicle oil filters and conveyer belt
LIFE and waste recycling: Innovative waste management options in Europe I p. LIFE99 ENV/NL/000232 The Directive on end-of-life vehi- cles16 promotes more environmentally friendly dismantling and recycling of motor vehicles. It establishes targets for the re-use, recycling and recov- ery of vehicles and calls on manu- facturers to incorporate recycling objectives within vehicle design. It is foreseen that vehicles may be put on the market only if they are re-usable and/or recyclable to a minimum of 85% by mass or are re-usable and/or recoverable to a minimum of 95% by mass. This has been complemented by several pieces of implementing legislation on spare parts, certificates of destruction and rules on monitor- ing implementation. From September 2008, a new Bat- tery Directive17 will ban mercury in all batteries and cadmium in most portable ones. In addition, it will The LIFE Paperfoam project developed an alternative packaging material made from establish rules for the collection, potato starch, replacing traditional plastic CD holders. recycling, treatment and disposal of batteries and accumulators to reduce heavy metals, poorly biodegradable facilities. Inventories of closed facili- the amount of hazardous substances organic compounds and potentially ties posing serious risks to the envi- dumped in the environment. pathogenic organisms that can be ronment and health have also to be found in sewage sludge. It prohibits drawn up. The Directive on the disposal of the use of untreated sludge on agri- polychlorinated biphenyls and cultural land unless it is injected or polychlorinated terphenyls18 (PCB/ incorporated into the soil. It further 1 COM(96) 399 2 European Parliament and Council PCT) aims at the controlled decon- regulates the use of sludge in agri- Decision No 1600/2002/EC tamination and disposal of all PCBs culture to prevent contact with crops 3 COM(2005) 670 and equipment containing PCBs as and grazing animals. 4 COM(2005) 666 5 European Parliament and Council soon as possible. It requires Mem- Directive 2003/30/EC ber States to prepare inventories, The Directive on the management of 6 Council Directive 2003/96/EC 7 European Parliament and Council collection plans and decontamina- waste from extractive industries20 Directive 2004/8/EC tion and disposal plans for electrical aims at minimising negative effects 8 COM(2005) 265 final 9 COM(2006) 545 final equipment manufactured before the on the environment and human health 10 European Parliament and Council restrictions on PCB use. from the treatment and disposal of Directive 2002/91/EC mining and quarrying waste. The 11 Council Directive 92/42/EEC 12 European Parliament and Council With the Directive on sewage sludge Directive covers the planning, licens- Directive 2000/55/EC used in agriculture19, the EU seeks ing, operation, closure and after-care 13 European Parliament and Council Directive 96/57/EC to prevent harmful effects on soil, of waste facilities and provides for a 14 Council Directive 92/75/EEC vegetation, animals and humans from major-accident policy for high-risk 15 Council and Commission deci- sions 2001/469/EC, 2003/168/EC, EC/2422/2001 16 European Parliament and Council Life-cycle thinking Directive 2005/32/EC 17 European Parliament and Council Directive 2006/32/EC The introduction of the concept of ‘life-cycle thinking’ to waste policy aims 18 European Parliament and Council at ensuring that the optimal environmental option within the waste hierarchy Directive 2003/87/EC is selected in each specific situation. The approach examines environmental 19 Council Directive 96/61/EC 20 European Parliament and Council impacts at each stage in the life-cycle of a resource or a product with the aim of Directive 2006/21/EC minimising the overall impacts.
LIFE: Support for an evolving EU waste policy Good waste management begins with preventing or minimising waste generation in the first place. However, where waste material is produced, management and treatment solutions are necessary. Featuring a wide range of innovative and successful waste-related LIFE projects, this LIFE-Focus publication illustrates methods and technologies to treat waste in an optimal way to reduce risks to human health and the environment. LIFE00 ENV/GR/000739 Despite the numerous regulations Instrument for the Environment (LIFE) adopted over the last decades, and demonstrate the technical feasibility the intensive efforts of some Member and financial viability of methods and States to reduce waste volumes, the technologies that can successfully potential for waste prevention, recy- enhance environmental performance cling, re-use and recovery in the EU is in the waste sector. These include not not yet fully exploited. Unsustainable only a number of projects showing how trends in waste generation need to be the planned introduction of life-cycle stopped and waste management fur- thinking into waste policy can effecti- ther improved. vely be implemented, but also many ‘win-win’ projects underlining that EU waste policy has the potential to measures to protect the environment LIFE in action: Managing earthquake reduce the negative environmental can also be financially beneficial. demolition waste in Greece. impact of resource use and increase resource efficiency in the European Current waste policy tools need to environmental problems, the pro- economy. This will not only contri- be complemented by approaches gramme links research and com- bute to maintaining the resource that promote smarter resource use. mercialisation. LIFE bridges the gap base, essential for sustained eco- This can be achieved by changing between research and development nomic growth, but developments in production and consumption pat- and large-scale application, and waste management and recycling terns and through innovation, as assists the widespread dissemina- will also generate jobs and business confirmed by the European Envi- tion of verified pioneering technolo- opportunities. ronment Agency . gies and good practices. Numerous projects co-financed by However, even innovative techno- Recycling paper and cardboard the European Commission’s Financial logies that can deliver sizable envi- LIFE04 ENV/FIN/000299 ronmental benefits can have difficul- Collecting batteries ties breaking into the market due to high entry barriers when competing against established conventional technology. LIFE represents an important tool in helping to overcome such entry barriers. By financing demonstra- tion projects aimed at developing and testing innovative solutions to For example LIFE99 ENV/NL/000232, LIFE02 ENV/GR/000373 LIFE02 ENV/E/000236, LIFE00 ENV/ S/000853, LIFE99 ENV/IRL/000605 or LIFE02 ENV/E/000187. EEA Signals 2004. A European Environ- ment Agency update on selected issues, p. 6
AG /T AG TITU NA NA ME L R ME L RCH SIT T UT LOP NTA LOP NTA NTE AU NA EGIO LA NT NT E A VE R INS E VE ME E VE ME EE CAL RES 5NI 2 D D E RN D D E RN ,O VA T TIO 0 RI AN RGOV AN RGOV E E )NT )NT LIFE and waste recycling: Innovative waste management options in Europe I p. Percentage of LIFE-Environment projects focusing on waste Figure I: Percentage of LIFE-Environment projects focusing on waste Since 1992, the percentage of waste-related LIFE-Environment projects has remained consistently high and close to the overall average of 19%. (Please note that a cumulative budget covered 2000 and 2001 due to a delay in the launch of the call for proposals under LIFE III.) 290 waste-related ment, recycling, re-use and recovery. private enterprises, underlining the LIFE-Environment projects Some projects looked at waste in strong economic interest in reducing general, while others focused on spe- the amount of waste produced. Since 1992, LIFE-Environment has cific waste streams such as hazar- financed more than 290 projects dous waste (19%), municipal waste The table below shows the range focusing on waste. These have been (18%), packaging and plastic waste of private and public entities that complemented by a number of waste- (10%), agricultural waste (9%), and have engaged -through LIFE - in related LIFE-Third Countries and waste from electric and electronic efforts to improve waste mana- some LIFE-Nature projects. In total, equipment (7%) or end-of-life gement. The projects covered in 19% of all LIFE-Environment projects vehicles (6%). Waste-related LIFE-Environment projects by the present brochure reflect this approach have specifically addressed issues LIFE-Environment projects by approach balance: twelve of the twenty pro- in the waste sector. Project themes Nearly half of the programme’s jects featured are managed by pri- Percentage of waste-related LIFE-Environment include waste collection, manage- waste-project beneficiaries were vate enterprises. Enterprises constituted more projects per type of beneficiary than 50% of the LIFE-Environment beneficiaries of waste-related projects. Figure 2: Percentage of waste-related LIFE-Environment projects per type of beneficiary 4ECHNOLOGIES -ETHODS AND TOOLS !WARENESS RAISING 4ECHNOLOGIES -ETHODS AND TOOLS !WARENESS RAISING Making efficient use of electricity isessential. Awareness raising NT ODY CY NT ODY CY TY NS TY / TITU D L A L AND ERS SE INS Y AN .' ORI ORI EN EN TIO PRI /TH ME L B ME L B UTH UTH AG AG TIO IONA TER RCH SIT LOP NTA LOP NTA LA EA VER EN EVE ME EVE ME G CA NA 2E RES 5NI ATE D D ERN D D ERN ,O V NA 0RI AN RGOV AN RGOV Source: E E )NT )NT
Waste-related Waste-related LIFE-Environment LIFE-Environment projects byprojects by approach approach LIFE-Environment LIFE-Environment projects byprojects approachby approach Figure 3: LIFE-Environment projects Figure 4: Waste-related LIFE-Environment by approach projects by approach 4ECHNOLOGIES 4ECHNOLOGIES -ETHODS AND TOOLS !WARENESS -ETHODS AND TOOLS RAISING !WARENESS RAISING 4ECHNOLOGIES 4ECHNOLOGIES -ETHODS AND TOOLS !WARENESS -ETHODS AND TOOLS RAISING !WARENESS RAISING Old Member States implemented the Over two-thirds of all waste-related therefore directly contributing to the most waste-related projects, with the LIFE-Environment projects were realisation of the long-term goal of most active countries being Spain technology-focused, compared to the European UnionAwareness raising as defined Awareness in the raising (51 projects), France (44 projects) less than half of all LIFE-Environment Thematic Strategy on the prevention and Italy (35 projects). However, two projects. This shows the particular and recycling of waste: to become new Member States, Hungary and focus on developing new and more an economically and environmentally Slovakia, had the highest proportion efficient technologies and impro- efficient recycling society. (33%) each of projects focusing on vements in working methods in the waste. waste sector. Support from LIFE is Disseminating results Knowledge and information are important to strengthening and improving waste management policy. This brochure aims to support this need by highlighting successful waste-related projects. The projects featured are from 15 coun- tries and were selected for their level of innovation, the sustainability of their outcomes, their relevance to environ- mental policy and legislation, or their demonstration value and transferability. The initiatives chosen for this bro- chure represent only a small sample of the many LIFE waste projects. Other exciting projects dealing with this issue are listed on page 50 of this publication, and many more can be found on the LIFE website’s project database at http://ec.europa.eu/envi- ronment/life/project/Projects/index. cfm or its thematic pages on waste at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/ themes/waste/index.htm. LIFE00 ENV/IRL/000764 Collection point for electrical and electronic equipment
LIFE and waste recycling: Innovative waste management options in Europe I p. 11 las t ic waste d p an Packaging is now estimated to form i ng up to half the volume of municipal waste in western Europe. Over the ag next ten years, the total amount of P ac k packaging waste in the EU-15 is projected to increase by 20-25 % compared to the year 2000. Packaging comprises an increasing proportion of non-degradable plastic and produces toxic emissions during incineration. It consumes significant raw materials during its manufacture and typically has a very short useful lifetime, soon becoming waste that must be treated or thrown away. Although on the European scale, there has been a continuous increase in the recycling rate of packaging waste, the situation varies significantly between Member States. The EU packaging Directive encourages the esta- blishment of re-use systems and sets clear tar- gets for recovery and recycling. The LIFE programme supported projects developing innovations such as a self-supporting selec- tive-collection system for plastic packa- ging waste in the construction sector, a divided packaging waste management system for tourist use or foldable, reu- sable, and recyclable boxes for fruit and vegetable packaging.
Packaging and plastic waste Paperfoam: The ‘baked potato’ reinvented as sustainable packaging This LIFE-project successfully demonstrated how injection moulding of potato starch and paper can produce a new form of biodegradable packaging that is economical and of high quality. Complaints abound concerning to ‘moisturise’ the packaging so that the waste produced by packaging. it becomes more flexible and less Although necessary for the protection brittle too.” of products for distribution, storage, sale and use, packaging often produces Alternative packaging solutions such unbiodegradable waste that ends up in as EPS (polystyrene) and cardboard landfills and frequently employs non- are far less environmentally friendly renewable resources in its sometimes due to their origin (EPS) or their energy- very energy-intensive production. intensive manufacturing process (card- board). Paperfoam’s process is, com- Whilst high-quality alternatives to tra- pared to corrugated board, much less ditional petroleum-based packaging, energy intensive. This is because the such as bio-plastics, have been devel- wet paper pulp that is used as base oped in the past, these were all very material for corrugated board contains expensive. Just over ten years ago, about 5% dry matter, whereas the sus- however, Vertis B.V., a Dutch automa- Apple chose Paperfoam for its ability to pended solution of starch and water, tion services provider, invented a pro- provide unusually shaped packaging. which forms the basis for Paperfoam, cess and product, which they called contains 50% dry matter. This means ‘Paperfoam’ that addresses many of Vertis used Paperfoam to package that it uses about ten times less energy these concerns. Paperfoam is a sus- products such as desktop phones, to reach the requested dry matter per- tainable packaging solution which is DVDs and iPods. It could also be used, centage if Paperfoam is used as base sufficiently cost-effective and of high however, for much more complicated material instead of corrugated board. enough quality to be commercially and unusually shaped objects. Later Furthermore, Paperfoam can be eas- attractive. on, the firm found that the packaging ily disposed of in any waste process needed to be stronger to pass trans- (paper recycling, combustion or com- The injection moulding technology that port and drop tests. This was achieved posting), as it is completely biode- Vertis invented in 1996 produces a by adding paper to the mix. gradable and contains no toxic com- substance made of renewable natural ponents. fibres and potato starch - Paperfoam. ‘Baking’ sustainable packaging In essence, the process involves the Vertis set up a separate company, injection of a mixture of potato starch When you walk through the Paper- Paperfoam B.V., to oversee the imple- and water into a mould before this foam offices, it smells more like the mentation of the ‘Paperfoam’ project. mixture is then ‘baked’ in the heated baking of biscuits than baked pota- However, first of all, Paperfoam needed mould. Once ejected from the mould, toes. “It is a sort of baking process,” to prove the viability of the technol- the substance is ready to be used says Jan Wietze Huisman, the com- ogy. “We could not afford to produce as packaging. This technology was pany’s director of research and tech- enough packaging ourselves to supply a major breakthrough in terms of the nology. “In fact, it is quite like bak- worldwide,” recounts Huisman. “So economies of production and the cost ing cookies in another way as well. we needed to prove that the machines of biopolymer based foam-packaging, When you bake biscuits, the first day and the technology worked.” especially when compared to other they are very brittle, but if you leave techniques, such as wafer irons. The a tray of them on the kitchen table, Demonstrating viability injection moulding technology origi- you notice that the next day, they are nated in the plastics industry, but until slightly soggier, more flexible. This is Thus, with LIFE funding supporting a Vertis’ development, no one had ever because they have absorbed some project that lasted from 1999 to 2001, tried to use it to make starch-based, moisture from the air. Well, Paper- Paperfoam built a demonstration plant biodegradable packaging. foam uses a similar sort of process to show the market that all conceiv-
LIFE and waste recycling: Innovative waste management options in Europe I p. 13 able kinds of packaging could be would be saved, when compared with still fairly small – there are 2 billion CD constructed in a continuous produc- traditional packaging energy require- packages produced worldwide every tion process, combining design tools ments, leading to a reduction of 300 year - but it is all part of the ‘green (CAD), the injection moulding technique tonnes of CO2 equivalents. wave’ washing over the entertainment and the company’s knowledge-base of industry at the moment as it replaces fibre-starch recipes. An attractive technology its petroleum-based packaging. Specifically, this demonstration plant As it happened, many firms have been Under pressure from environmen- was meant to enable the Paperfoam attracted to the technology for reasons tal and labour rights campaigners, company to attract its first commer- other than its eco-friendliness. “When the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, cial orders. This would be achieved people see Paperfoam, they think it is recently introduced a sustainability by developing a packaging product beautiful and recyclable, but often it is ‘scorecard’ amongst its suppliers that was qualitatively very good, bio- some of its other special characteris- – they were to deliver items that were degradable, able to hold a weight of tics that attract clients,” notes Ciaran both good for the environment and 1kg, used less energy and contributed Jetten, Paperfoam’s sales manager. good for the bottom line. Taking heed to a reduction in surpluses from the of this new approach, Universal Music industrial processing of agricultural “For instance, because it is very diffi- Group chose Paperfoam as its pack- substances into goods that are not cult for Paperfoam to be copied – the aging supplier to improve its sustain- meant for human or animal consump- pre-mix that we add to the starch and ability score with the retail giant. tion (agrification). water is a secret recipe: it is very dif- ficult to make ‘pirate’ packaging.“ This For businesses in a declining sec- At the end of the project, the results can help with the prevention of piracy tor such as record companies, most were better than expected. Following of the product the packaging encases. packaging alternatives have proved the demonstration project, the ben- “When companies track down what too expensive, even in large volumes. eficiary generated orders from five might be a pirated copy of their prod- Paperfoam is thus a perfect fit, as it can multinational companies primarily in uct, they can quickly tell if the pack- be produced in bulk and at low cost. the non-food sector: Bosch, Siemens, aging is not Paperfoam. AMD, when Other major record labels, including Packard, Detewe and Ascom. Fur- they were looking for new packaging Sony BMG and EMI have now also thermore, it sold four licences, to firms for their hard-drives, went for Paper- decided to go with PaperFoam. in Malaysia, Denmark, China and the foam for these anti-piracy qualities.” US. The financial figures were also Similarly, Apple chose Paperfoam for This ‘green wave’ is expected to better than expected, as more sales its ability to provide unusually shaped spread throughout the entertainment revenue was received. Depending packaging for its sharp lines, a task for industry and beyond. Thanks to its on the scale of production and pur- which traditional cardboard is less well ‘start-up’ demonstration funding from pose of the Paperfoam packaging, an suited. LIFE, Paperfoam will be at the forefront investment in machinery can be paid of developments, ‘baking’ its way to back in seven years. As of the end However, because the technology sustainable packaging worldwide. of the project, the profit after seven cycle for consumer electronics prod- years was expected to be between ucts requires changes in packaging €1.4 and €4.5 million. While the basic every three years or so, Paperfoam Project Number: production cost is higher than other has decided to divide its business into LIFE99 ENV/NL/000232 types of packaging, when looking at two lines: the first services specialty Title: Paperfoam: demonstration the entirety of the business produc- packaging needs of licensees; and the of the applicability of an innovative tion chain, Paperfoam comes out second line services the packaging technology to produce packag- cheaper. As it weighs so much less, needs of standard, more mainstream ings, made of natural fibres and starch, which are both environmental transit costs are lowered substantially, products that have longer technology friendly and of a high quality thus in the end, the cost to the end- cycles, and thus provide more con- Beneficiary: Vertis B.V. consumer are comparable to other stant business. competing products. Additionally, the Total Budget: e 1,608,000 reduced transportation needs result in This second line has so far produced LIFE Contribution: e 358,000 lower CO2 emissions. mainly packaging that replaces the tra- Period: Feb-1999 to Aug-2001 ditional plastic CD and DVD packaging, Website: www.paperfoam.com In an energy audit performed in 2004, as well as that of gift cards. Paperfoam Contact: Jan Wietze Huisman Paperfoam found that in the following themselves now produce some 80 mil- year, 2005, almost 7000 GJ of energy lion CD and DVD cases a year. This is Email: email@example.com
Packaging and plastic waste AFM: Cleaner, safer water filtration, thanks to recycled glass bottles This innovative UK project demonstrated the potential of using recycled glass as a medium for water filtration. This not only provides an interesting secondary use for the bottles, but manages to out-perform standard sand filtration methods in terms of water quality. AFM proved to be highly effective at removing bacteria, parasites and organic matter in water filters tested at several different locations, includ- ing swimming pools and large aquari- ums. It improved the quality of sew- age effluent by eliminating 90% of pollution and the quality of drinking water by removing 30% more waste. Results included the removal of spe- cific pathogens, the reduction of dan- gerous chemical compounds – such as trichloramine and trihalomethanes – and a reduction in chlorine con- sumption of up to 80%. AFM is presently used on a small scale (approximately 1,000 tonnes) in pressure filters to treat a wide range of water types. However, this project Recycled glass is the basis of the water filtration medium used here, in this Scottish served to demonstrate the tremen- swimming pool dous growth potential of AFM for tertiary treatment of sewerage efflu- The project started from the observa- water supplies to the benefit of pub- ent, industrial wastewater, fish farms, tion that 80% of water supplies in the lic health. It would also provide an swimming pools and landfill leachate. UK were being treated by rapid gravity important new use for processed The Drinking Water Inspectorate has and pressure sand filters, the perform- recycled glass. also approved AFM filters for use in ance of which deteriorate as the bac- domestic water supply. teria biomass in the sand develops. Recycled glass outperforms sand Bacteria colonise the sand in sewage Before and after AFM treatment of treatment works, drinking water and The project developed a process sewage effluent swimming pool filters, producing a to create the AFM water filtration sticky alginate coat that prevents the media from recycled glass bot- filters from working properly after just tles. The glass is firstly reduced in a few days. particle size to equate with sand. It is then further processed to give The Scottish-based marine bio- the media surface a high negative logical company, Dryden Aqua, charge or zeta potential and amplify believed they could develop a new the inherent properties of glass to and innovative water filtration prod- provide catalytic activity. The nega- uct called AFM (Active Filter Media) tive charge means that AFM can from recycled glass. It expected that absorb much smaller particles than AFM could prove to be more effec- sand, including sub-micron par- tive than sand filtration systems for ticles as well a proportion of dis- the treatment of municipal drinking solved organics.
LIFE and waste recycling: Innovative waste management options in Europe I p. 15 Although the product is more expen- Furthermore, since companies that sive than the sand equivalent, the presently process glass for recycling medium has a lifespan at least 3-4 in the UK are not accustomed to treat- times longer than sand filter media. ing glass as a secondary product, but Life-cycle cost analysis indicates a as a waste product, few of the big return on capital investment measured recycling companies have the ability in months, especially for wastewater to supply the glass processed in the treatment, not to mention the health way required for the AFM product. and safety benefits of the improved fil- tration efficiency. The results and the Instead of a network, the benefici- savings achieved were large enough ary therefore developed a working to convince three local councils and relationship with one company to many large private leisure centres in supply the required glass. It estab- Scotland to adopt AFM in their swim- lished the first full-scale processing ming pools. facility for AFM, primarily exploiting waste green and brown bottles, with Using recycled glass bottles a capacity to process 20,000 met- ric tonnes per year. It is hoped that Dr John Hargreaves, chief executive Besides the obvious environmental an incremental increase in demand Scottish Water PLC, and minister for and health advantages of the new for AFM will be met with a similar the environment Ross Finnie, MSP, visit water filtering system, the project has increase in supply. the AFM system also created a feasible secondary use for the often wasted resource of Extending the use of AFM of the market. As drinking water used glass and offered the potential and wastewater disposal standards to decrease the use of virgin sand, a The fact that the AFM filter out-per- become stricter in the coming years, non-renewable natural resource, in formed traditional sand filters in ini- AFM filtration will become increas- water filtration. tial testing suggests there is much ingly attractive to water treatment scope for the extended use of the facilities of all kinds. Glass that is crushed and ready to be filter to provide improvements in re-melted is called cullet. Based on the water quality. Opening up future The development of the AFM market impressive results of the initial investi- markets to AFM could, for example, will provide considerable benefits to gations, the project sought to create a contribute to removing the environ- public health and the aquatic envi- network of suppliers for the raw cullet mental impact of industrial, sewage ronment. Furthermore, since a large that would meet Dryden Aqua’s speci- and landfill wastewater discharges. It water plant may require up to 35 fications. However, despite the excess could also reduce the need for chem- tonnes of AFM, it will also contribute of recyclable glass, this proved more ical treatment through improved pri- to boosting the market for recycled difficult than anticipated, with the mary filtration. glass. The AFM LIFE project has project unable to source adequate thus made an important contribu- quantities of processed glass. The approval of AFM by the Drinking tion towards the double objective of Water Inspectorate has already pre- enhancing wastewater treatment and Much waste glass is reprocessed by sented opportunities for its use within waste glass recycling. the recycling industry for use in indus- the water industry. Significantly, the trial sectors such as the production political climate is currently highly Project Number: of aggregate for road building. This favourable for the future expansion LIFE02 ENV/UK/000146 requires much less processing than is Title: Development and applications needed for AFM and at present there of advanced filtration medium is little economic incentive for glass Beneficiary: Dryden Aqua Limited to be processed in the specific way required given the limited market for Total Budget: e 1,166,000 such a product. LIFE Contribution: e 176,000 Period: Jul-2002 to Jul-2005 Website: www.AFM.eu Contact: Howard Dryden Project logo showing the Active Filter Media Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Packaging and plastic waste WPC-Recycle: ‘Greener’ outdoor products from recycled D AR AW S CT JE 5 thermoplastic waste BE ST PR O 20 04-2 00 This German LIFE project demonstrated a new technology to use recycled thermoplastic waste to create ‘Wood Plastic Composites’ (WPC), a new, cost-effective and more environmentally friendly material for manufacturing products for outdoor use. Traditionally, products for outdoor use calibrated and cooled. This resulted in such as garden furniture have had to a non-destructible adhesion without be coated with duro-plastic resins and the need for additional glues. treated with environmentally damag- ing fungicides. The energy input during The new material proved to be production is relatively high due to the weather-resistant, without the need long treatment times at high tempera- for potentially environmentally harmful tures. Furthermore, the combination of wood preservatives. The more effec- chipboard and duro-plastic means that tive production process also reduced used products cannot be recycled. the overall quantity of material needed and minimised the use of new thermo- Thermoplastic waste, such as pack- plastic material in wood-plastic-com- WPC can make use of more than just aging waste, is also a major environ- posites. a handful of recycled pellets from ther- moplastic waste mental hazard. However, the German project beneficiary Werzalit - a com- WPC does not require the use of fun- pany specialising in veneer sheets, gicides, halogens, chlorines, or formal- injection moulding is about 60%. By woodchip panels, furniture and dehyde, whilst the substitution of pure September 2007, six full-scale produc- weather-resistant products - foresaw plastics with ecological wood-based tion lines and 16 new jobs had been a way to recycle thermoplastic waste materials (domestic timber) helps created in Werzalit’s WPC department. to create an environmentally friendly reduce CO2 emissions. It creates new Increasing quantities and varieties of WPC material for outdoor products opportunities for recycling thermo- WPC products are being produced that could itself be recycled after use. plastic waste material, thus extend- and the plastic wood compound sold ing its life cycle. Future waste is also as granulate to other injection mould- Cheaper and more prevented, since the material itself is ing companies. The material is now environmentally friendly easily recycled and spare material and being used by well-known sound sys- chippings can be easily remoulded. tem supplier Bose to equip Audi with The combination of the technical char- high-fidelity speakers. acteristics of woodchips and thermo- The project therefore successfully plastics was shown to be feasible dur- demonstrated that the recycled mate- ing laboratory research. The project rial could replace, and even outper- Project Number: experimented with and optimised the form coated wood chipboards. The LIFE00 ENV/D/000348 production of WPC with young poly- new technology also offers economic Title: Pilot-plant for the material propylene, substituting the thermo- benefits, since recycled polypropylene utilisation of plastic waste in the pro- duction of products based on new, plastic component up to 100% with is cheaper than young polypropylene. polimer-bound wood materials recycled polypropylene. Beneficiary: Werzalit AG + Co KG Since the project ended, compres- Based on excellent test results, the sion moulding has been replaced by Total Budget: e 1,579,000 project produced decorative, covered, injection moulding and also extrusion. LIFE Contribution: e 153,000 semi-finished side panels using WPC Although extrusion products - such Period: Dec-2001 to May-2004 core material and thermoplastic foils as profiles for flooring - are still pro- Website: www.werzalit.de suitable for outdoor use. The foils and duced with juvenile plastics because Contact: Matthias Schulte the extruded molten WPC core material of the high optical requirements, were combined in a double belt press, the share of recycled plastic in the Email: email@example.com
LIFE and waste recycling: Innovative waste management options in Europe I p. 17 le w a s t e ad ab g r e Biodegradable waste is capable of d bio undergoing biological decomposition. It is made up of food waste, garden waste, paper and cardboard, some tex- Organic and tiles and wood waste. Much of it comes from ordinary households. On average, the annual production of biodegradable municipal waste is around 300kg per capita in EEA member countries. The main negative impact of biowaste occurs when it is landfilled. This produces methane, a greenhouse gas which is a potent greenhouse gas (21 times more potent than car- bon dioxide) and which accounted for 3% of total green- house gas emissions in the EU-15 in 1995. A major aim of the European Landfill Directive is, therefore, to reduce the amount of landfilled biodegradable waste and to apply life- cycle thinking to biowaste management policies. The three principal alternative treatments to landfill are central composting, incineration with energy recovery and recycling. The LIFE programme has supported the devel- opment of such alternatives, including projects on the recycling of organic waste through co-fermen- tation in municipal sewage sludge digesters, local sys- tems for recycling waste- water and organic household waste, and the development of biodegradable covers for sustainable agriculture.
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