Eurits, the European Union for Responsible Incineration and Treatment of Special Waste, represents more than 90% of the EU`s specialist waste incineration sector, and exists to ensure the safe, legal and environmentally sound incineration of waste. The organisation was established in 1994. . The 26 members operate 36 plants in 12 countries with a total workforce of more than 4,500. Dealing with special wastes involves treatment of hazardous waste as well as hazardous components present in other wastes. Safe decontamination, efficient energy use and the recovery of waste by supporting the aims of a society committed to recycling are the challenges facing the present day management of special waste. Implemented by specially-trained staff in purpose-built facilities, the incineration of hazardous waste is far more than just thermal treatment.
Eurits provides its members with a Europe-wide platform on which they can present their views, raising awareness of Hazardous Waste Incineration (HWI) and the need for it. Our members exchange experience on technical, environmental and safety information, and are committed to providing information that is completely transparent.
It is the aim of Eurits to create awareness among politicians and the public of the need for hazardous waste to be incinerated in facilities which have been specially developed for this purpose and which operate to the highest standards of environmental sustainability. Eurits tracks all major legislative processes at the European level and provides information to bodies such as the European Parliament and the European Commission on the technical background, environmental protection activities and safety aspects of hazardous waste incineration, with the aim of creating the necessary transparency in the political decision-making process.
Eurits was established to promote the safe, legal and responsible high temperature incineration and treatment of special waste, including hazardous and other dangerous wastes. [The term 'special waste' describes wastes that contain dangerous substances but are not necessarily classified as hazardous by law.] Membership of Eurits is open to companies that operate a high-temperature incineration plant for special waste.
The European Commission has identified that Europe needs a network of facilities to destroy waste that is so hazardous that it is dangerous to human health and the environment. In providing this network, the member companies within Eurits have two key roles in the effective operation of a recycling society:
- Acting as gatekeepers to prevent hazardous waste and other wastes containing dangerous components entering the recycling chain to ensure that the components do not end up in products (for example, general construction material, food and animal feedstuff) and have an adverse impact on human health and the environment.
- Being part of the recycling society by enabling the recovery of energy and materials from the high-temperature incineration process, either in their own plants (for example through the use of waste as a fuel in the process and the use of bottom ashes in controlled construction applications for example landfill construction) and in the wider economy (where examples include the supply of electricity and steam outside the plant and the re-use of metals).
Eurits' mission statement 'special waste in good hands' means that we support compliance with codes of good practice, legislation or regulations, especially those relating to environmental protection and to safety and we condemn any deliberate infringement of these standards.Conditions to act in a free market
In a free market, the following conditions should apply in order to ensure that the market can operate in an environmentally-sustainable way:
1. The waste hierarchy must be used with care:
A higher step should always be preferred so long as all direct and indirect environmental and safety aspects have been fully considered and more pollution is not created when waste is recycled than would have arisen if a step lower in the hierarchy had been used.
2. Good definitions of waste and end-of-waste are followed:
Eurits strongly believes that a material should be defined as 'waste' by reference to its physical and chemical properties and not by reference to any subjective criteria.
Hazardous waste should remain classified as wastes and subject to waste regulations in all their further uses. The only exception could be where the waste undergoes a licensed treatment where the hazardous contaminants are safely separated to allow its further use as a product.
Hazardous waste should not be declassified for use as an energy source because this could lead to the circumvention of the emission limit values set out in the Industrial Emissions Directive. Once a waste is declassified then the emission limit value (ELVs) and Best Available Techniques (BAT) relating to waste will no longer be applicable and lower standards will come into force.
3. No solution by dilution:
In waste management, dilution is often used in an attempt to circumvent environmental legislation in order to allow a waste to be treated by a cheaper but generally less environmentally-acceptable solution. This is wrong and is prohibited under the Waste Directive [2008/98/EC].
Environmental protection is best served by waste materials being decontaminated and the toxic components either being destroyed or being concentrated and safely disposed of, rather than by dilution and dispersal of toxic components that could have an adverse impact on human health and the environment.
4. There should be full transparency and traceability:
Eurits supports complete transparency and traceability in the waste management chain from the waste producer to the final treatment of the waste.
Eurits supports an 'open door' policy in relation to the operational aspects of the waste management chain. The aim of this policy is to create public confidence in, and acceptance of, our facilities.
5. The implementation of legislation and its continued operation should be enforced by the competent authorities:
Eurits believes that the implementation and the operation of legislation governing all forms of waste incineration (including co-incineration) and treatment should be firmly enforced by the competent authorities to ensure the consistent and effective application of the legislation.
6. Application of consistent and uniform standards:
Eurits supports the application of strict standards and the use of BAT to all forms of waste treatment and specifically for the treatment of waste that is dangerous or hazardous, including high temperature waste incineration and all other forms of waste incineration. These strict standards should be applied uniformly and consistently across Europe including to all plants performing similar treatment of wastes, whether part of that plant's primary function or not.
The aims of Eurits are as follows:
- Raising awareness of specialist Hazardous Waste Incineration and the need for it
- Promoting best sustainable environmental practice in the field of Hazardous Waste Incineration
- Championing transparency about the technical, environmental and safety aspects of Hazardous Waste Incineration to secure public confidence in the sector
- Representing the sector to EU institutions to strengthen EU environmental legislation in the field of Hazardous Waste
- Giving a platform for information exchange to the sector
Represents over 90% of the EU's specialist hazardous waste incineration sector
Total capacity of 2.5 million tonnes pa
26 members in 12 EU Member States plus Switzerland and Turkey
36 state of the art plants and over 4500 well trained employees