In its 1996 Communication on the Review of the Community Strategy for Waste Management, the EU Commission stresses that prevention of waste and the minimisation of hazardous substances in waste must be the overall targets for a strategy on waste management of the Community.
According to the Fifth Environmental Action Programme for the year 2000, management of waste generated within the Community is a key task of the 1990s. A vital element of the Community Strategy is achieving waste minimisation in terms of both volumes and environmental hazards/damages. The Programme sets the EC waste minimisation target for the year 2000 to be a stabilisation of quantities of waste generated at an EC average of 300 kg/capita on a country by country basis.
Waste needs to be prevented and minimised for two major reasons. First, waste is a potential source of pollution. Second, waste consists of high shares of recyclable and reusable materials.
This research examines some of the best waste minimisation practices on both industrial and municipal waste flows. The objectives of the proposed study are to:
- identify and analyse the measures taken by the various national actors to minimise the quantity and hazardousness of industrial waste;
- identify and analyse, in the municipal waste sector, the best practices of waste prevention;
- identify horizontal measures taken with the aim of eliminating hazardous substances from the waste stream;
- measure and analyse, on several concrete examples, the environmental and economic gains connected to the prevention of waste.