European Waste Management Systems Found to be Wasteful!
The European Court of Auditors has criticised the EU's waste management infrastructure, which has received €10.8 billion in structural funding since 2000, for its "limited" effectiveness.
The average European citizen generates around 500kg of municipal waste per year, a source of environmental degradation unless properly collected, treated and disposed.
Refuse can contain important raw materials and resources, and the EU has introduced directives to enforce common waste management standards and targets. It has also co-financed waste management infrastructures in specific regions.
But "the effectiveness of EU funding for municipal waste management infrastructures was limited due to the poor implementation of supporting measures," according to the EU auditors report.
Refuse was deposited in landfill sites "without adequate treatment," the report found, and "insufficient financial amounts" were put aside for the closing of landfill sites, and their after-care costs.
Reliable measurement of progress towards meeting the EU's targets was hampered by the poor quality of data provided by member states. Nonetheless, in six of the eight regions receiving EU funding, per capita waste generation increased last year.
"Europeans are consuming more, and producing more waste," said Ovidiu Ispir, the report's author. "The EU Waste Directive requires that member states treat and dispose of waste without risk to water, air and soil and without causing noise or odour problems."
Photo shows refuse truck on the motorway via Shutterstock.
Read more at EurActiv.