The distinction of responsibilities for waste disposal in national legislation of the EU countries

In Germany, the public municipalities and the private waste management companies are trying to defend or acquire respectively contingents of the solid waste accumulation.

by Axel Bree

The German waste law (KrW-/AbfG) sets up a dual system, according to which the public waste treatment services are responsible for household waste and industry waste destined for disposal, whereas industry waste destined for recovery can and shall be managed by the private sector. This distinction led to various disputes and lacks clarity. However, this article takes a look at the legislation in other EU countries. It aims at exploring the approach taken by our neighbours to find a way in between private autonomy and public service. In conclusion, it becomes apparent that in the researched countries the decisive distinction is made between on the one hand household or municipal waste and on the other hand industrial waste. The criteria whether the waste is destined for disposal or recovery plays only – if at all – an insignificant role in the determination of the responsible waste treatment service.

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published: Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, EurUP 06/2004 (December 2004), 12|2004
Keywords: Collection, Material Recovery, Policy Tax Instruments, Hazardous Waste, Plastics, Germany