Posted on 03/11/2009 in category Environment




Brussels,2nd November 2009


BIRAutumn Round-Table Sessions

Amsterdam,26-27 October 2009


InternationalEnvironment Council:

"Endof waste" in sight

The recycling industry must remainunited as it nears its long-held goal of extricating itsend-products, i.e. materials ready for melting or re-pulping, fromwaste legislation, delegates to the BIR’s International EnvironmentCouncil (IEC) meeting in Amsterdam were urged by its Chairman,Olivier François of Galloometal in Belgium.

Currently under discussion, criteriafor establishing the “end of waste” will bring welcomeharmonisation and legal certainty for the entire EU recyclingindustry, while at the same time reducing its administrative burden,Mr François explained. It is “very important”, therefore, forrecyclers to support the final push towards defining the “end ofwaste” for the various recyclables, he said. “We really must keepthis target in mind. We need to be strong and we need to be strongtogether.”

Further developments on end-of-wastecriteria for iron scrap and aluminium scrap are anticipated beforethe end of this year, he added.

Earlier, BIR’s Environmental &Technical Director Ross Bartley confirmed that the OECD is advancingwith its work on Sustainable Materials Management (SMM), with casestudies developed on aluminium, plastics and wood fibres, among othermaterials. In shifting from “end-of-life” thinking towards a moreintegrated life-cycle approach, SMM is intended to ensure thatmaterial resources are managed sustainably and used efficientlythroughout their life-cycle to help promote economic growth,environmental quality and sustainable development.

While SMM should be “good forrecycling”, Mr Bartley expressed concern at “elements ofprotectionism” contained within the related documentation.

Mr Bartley also invited BIR recyclingcompanies to consider participating in PACE, the Basel Convention’sPartnership for Action on Computing Equipment. Established in January2009, this brings together personal computer manufacturers,refurbishers, recyclers, international organisations, academia,environmental groups and governments in a bid to improve themanagement of used and end-of-life computing equipment. Its projectgroups will cover: environmentally sound management criteria;refurbishment and repair; material recycling and recovery; andawareness-raising and training.

Two guest speakers addressed the IECmeeting in Amsterdam. The first, Frans Bijlhouwer of QualityConsultants in the Netherlands, spoke of the growing importance ofquality management systems such as ISO 9001 in the recyclingindustry. Suppliers, customers and government agencies - includingChina’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspectionand Quarantine (AQSIQ) - are increasingly asking for certification ofthis kind; therefore, companies going down this route are improvingtheir competitive position both in domestic and world markets, heexplained. In addition, adoption of a quality management systemserves to improve business performance and to boost confidence in acompany. Furthermore, it could assist in the meeting of EU“end-of-waste” criteria.

Delegates also heard from ManuelVillena of LoadIt, a Dutch venture with a vision of creating“paperless administration” of scrap shipments using informationtechnology. Already approved in the Netherlands, the system has saveda sample Dutch company approximately 260 man hours in a single month.The speaker expressed the hope that the system will be piloted inother EU countries.