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How to achieve the 10% landfill target without waste incineration?

On September 4th, our member Latvian Zero Waste and Zaļā Brīvība jointly organized a webinar on how Latvia can achieve the EU's 10% landfill target while avoiding waste incineration.

As part of the circular economy package passed in 2018, the new landfill directive requires member states to limit the amount of municipal waste that should be landfilled to 10% or less of the municipal waste generated in any given year by 2035. Challenging, its definition and calculation (in any given year and defined as a percentage) may lead to unnecessary consequences.

One of these potential consequences may be to invest in waste incineration to minimize landfilling.

However, this action violates the general principles of the EU's circular economy agenda and may therefore cause a lock-in situation.

"Waste is forced to be incinerated, rather than reused or recycled, which would violate the principles and strategic goals of the Circular Economy Package, which clearly prioritizes waste reduction and maximum recovery of materials."

Janek Vähk, Climate, Energy and Air Pollution Coordinator, Zero Waste Europe

In this case, our climate, energy and air pollution coordinator Janek Vähk shared his skills and expertise in material recycling and biological treatment (MRBT), which is a way to better meet the requirements of the circular economy agenda New strategy for managing residual waste.

Watch the webinar recording:

Learn more about the EU's 10% landfill target in our policy brief.

Learn more about material recycling and biological treatment in our latest report.

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