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Hazardous waste shipments in the EU rise sharply
The amount of hazardous waste shipped out of member states nearly quadrupled between 1997 and 2005, according to a European Commission report on the implementation of EU waste shipment legislation.
But despite this increase, 91% of EU hazardous waste in 2005 was treated in the country of origin. Not all member states have sufficient capacity to deal with their own waste. However, shipments of toxic waste for recovery to non-OECD countries are banned under international and EU laws.
During the period, the vast majority of waste shipments took place within EU borders. In 2000-05, more than 90% of the shipped waste remained within the EU-15, according to the report. The situation in the EU-10 is difficult to assess because of the "considerably smaller amounts of shipped waste", says the commission.
In 2005, the largest exporter of hazardous waste was the Netherlands with 2.6 million tonnes of waste shipped, followed by Belgium, Italy (EE 13/03/09 http://www.endseurope.com/20898), France and Ireland. Germany, the biggest exporter in 1997, reported steady or even slightly decreasing amounts, the commission says.
The majority of the shipped waste was treated in a recovery operation. "The few major EU-15 imports for disposal were due to the existence of particular
treatment facilities in the importing countries", the commission says. This is the second implementation report to be published by the EU executive.
Follow-up: European Commission report (summary
plus staff working document http://www.endseurope.com/docs/90702a.pdf. See also EU waste shipment webpage http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/shipments/index.htm.
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