#15 - 2006

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eNews is an electronic newsletter regularly available from the European Topic Centre on Resource and Waste Management (ETC/RWM) as a source of information for Eionet.

The headlines of this issue of eNews are:



Eionet

8th Eionet Workshop

On 21 and 22 November 2005, the European Topic Centre on Resource and Waste Management - ETC/RWM - held its 8th annual Eionet workshop in Copenhagen, Denmark. Please see eNews no 14 for a summary of the workshop.

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Support to member countries

Turkey

The Topic Centre carried out a project in 2005 under the headline ‘support to member countries’. This was done in co-operation with the EEA and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF) of the Republic of Turkey.

A workshop was held on 10 November in Ankara for representatives from the MoEF and local authorities. The objective of the workshop was to disseminate information and experience gained from data collection systems in selected EEA countries. Experts from Hungary, Romania and Estonia presented their national waste data collection systems and offered valuable contributions to the discussions.

As a follow-up to the workshop, the Topic Centre has drafted a paper with an overview of selected national waste data collection systems.

The activities for 2006 will be decided in cooperation with the MoEF. A project description has been prepared and will be discussed with the MoEF in February/March.

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The West Balkans

The Topic Centre is carrying out a project for the EEA within the framework of the CARDS programme. This project aims at strengthening the co-operation between the EEA and the West Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, F.Y.R. of Macedonia, and Serbia and Montenegro) within resource and waste management.

The Topic Centre visited all five countries during autumn 2005 and has drafted a separate report on the waste management situation for each country. Furthermore, the Topic Centre has prepared an overview of waste data collection systems from selected countries.

The tasks in 2006 include a workshop focusing on waste data collection systems for all five countries.

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Belgrade 2007 report

The Belgrade 2007 report will provide a pan-European assessment of the state of the environment in Western Europe (EU Member States, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Turkey and the five countries in West Balkans), and in the countries of the region of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Centrals Asia (EECCA). The report is mainly aimed at providing the background for the next Environment for Europe ministerial conference in Belgrade in autumn 2007. Furthermore, the report will extend the knowledge base to support national and environmental policies. The report will be the fourth pan-European assessment prepared by the EEA.

The Topic Centre will support the EEA in the drafting of the chapter on resource, consumption and waste. The report will be based on existing data.

An outline for chapters will be drafted by the end of April 2006. The draft chapters are to be ready by September 2006, and the EEA will then send them for review to NFPs and others.

As the report will build on existing data, we expect that the Topic Centre will need further clarification or documentation of the national data. In this respect we look forward to dialogue with and support from the NRCs.

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Development of the ETC/RWM website

Refocusing the Topic Centre's work on indicators

During 2005 we worked on expanding and fine-tuning the Topic Centre’s website. Several databases have been updated and new sections have been added.


  • New FAQ section (http://waste.eionet.eu.int/FAQ). A new section with Frequently Asked Questions has been added. Here, the user will find brief information on what a Topic Centre is and our activities. Information on waste, Material Flow Accounting, Life Cycle Assessment, and environmental indicators are also available.

  • Update of the section Links (http://waste.eionet.eu.int/useful_links). The Link section has been revised and many useful links have been added. Categories include: European Union, International organisations, International waste associations and national organisations.

  • Waste prevention success stories in WasteBase (http://waste.eionet.eu.int/wastebase/prevention). The database with success stories on waste prevention has been updated and revised. The database includes stories from 20 European countries. The proposal for a new Waste Framework Directive requires that the countries are to prepare waste prevention plans. This database could provide inspiration for preparation of these plans.

  • Competent authorities updated (http://waste.eionet.eu.int/wastebase/authorities). The database with national competent authorities on waste has now been updated. The database covers 29 European countries with description of the various administrative levels and their competences.

  • A new section on Resource Use will be added to the website by the end of February. This section presents the environmental and political issues related to the use of resources and provides relevant links.
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New electronic questionnaire for reporting on End-of-life vehicles

By January 2006 the EU Member States are to report data and information on the implementation of the Directive on End-of-life vehicles (2000/53/EC) to DG Environment.

In collaboration between DG Environment, the EEA and the Topic Centre an electronic questionnaire has been prepared for this reporting. The questionnaire is based on the latest Reportnet technology developed by the EEA.

DG Environment has informed the Member States about the electronic questionnaire and provided a guideline on how to carry out the reporting.

Unless a country has restricted the report from public view, the results of the reporting can be followed here.

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Indicators

During 2005 the Topic Centre was involved in several activities related to indicators on waste and resources.

First and foremost, the comprehensive set of indicators which were developed by the ETC during 2000 has been through a revision process.  The original list of about 40 indicators was the result of a theoretical approach with the objective of identifying all policy relevant indicators. However, many of the indicators in this list depend on either poor data or data which will not be produced within the foreseeable future.

The objective of the exercise in 2005 has therefore been to identify a limited list of indicators selected on the basis of the criteria that they should be both policy relevant and have a high data quality. On the basis of the work, the Topic Centre has proposed to the EEA a revised list of 10 indicators. The list is still being discussed with the EEA, and we expect to be able to present it in the next issue of eNews.

Another activity carried out in 2005 was to make a proposal for a new website section on indicators. This section is first of all the place where our indicator work is described and where our 10 indicators will be presented. However, the section will also give an overview and links to other international institutions’ work in the field of indicators on waste and resources. When the section is approved by the EEA, the website will be publicly accessible.

Finally, on request from the EEA, the Topic Centre has worked on the Direct Material Input (DMI) indicator as a candidate for the EEA core set of indicators (CSI) with regard to resource use. In 2004 the Domestic Material Consumption (DMC) was also made ready for the CSI and it was considered that DMI would be a good supplement to DMC. However, the EEA Management Board meeting on 24 November 2005 concluded not to incorporate the two resource indicators in the CSI at this stage.

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Environmental Outlooks: Projection of methane from landfills

Following on from the ETC working paper Outlook for waste and material flows (no 1), the outlook project took a step further in 2005 by projecting the output of a climate change indicator from waste management for the EU-25. The indicator chosen was methane production from municipal waste in landfills. 

The IPCC Guidelines describe in detail how to model greenhouse gas emissions from waste management (composting, incineration, landfilling), and are the point of departure for the reporting of countries to the UNFCCC. The information contained is produced by national experts, it is homogeneous, internationally approved, and in most cases well documented. The information contained takes 1990 as the reference year, i.e., it provides in some cases information for the period 1990-2004.

Sources of methane in landfills can be assumed to release methane following an exponential decay from the time of deposition, with ‘half-lives’ ranging from garden waste at 7 years to wood at 23 years. Therefore, the projection of future methane emissions needs to take account of waste deposited in landfills some time back in addition to projections of future depositions. Key time variables are deposition amounts, and type of landfill.

Deposition in the future was based on the projections of municipal waste carried out under the first stage of the project and combined with projections on proportion of the biodegradable content sent to landfill. These projections are based on the assumption that most countries will meet the targets in reductions of biodegradable waste in landfills as stipulated in the Landfill Directive.

A further improvement of the Outlooks model will be developed during the first part of 2006. This concerns further development of the municipal waste stream to include projections for the proportion that is composted and incinerated. In addition, the estimations of environmental pressures will be extended to include another waste stream, for this purpose the waste stream of paper and cardboard is considered.

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Evaluation of existing waste policies to achieve waste prevention and increased recycling in the EU

The overall objective of the study is to conduct policy evaluation to determine whether, and to what extent, the implementation of the Landfill Directive and the Incineration Directive have contributed to an increase in recycling, recovery and waste prevention, and how the directives have supported the EU waste management hierarchy in general.

The study will not evaluate the directives themselves, but aims at evaluating national law implemented in selected countries in transposition of the two directives. It may not cover all aspects of implementation of the directives but only selected ones that are particularly relevant for assessing whether waste has been diverted from landfill.

The aims of the evaluation are as follows:

  • To identify and describe which instruments have been put in place in response to the directives, and to consider their effectiveness, and the synergies and conflicts between them;
  • To investigate the effects of the implemented policies on the diversion of waste, examining whether this diversion is promoting prevention, recycling and recovery;

The project is being conducted in close co-operation with the EEA, Eurostat, and national statistical authorities.

Using this information, the study aims to reach conclusions on whether and how the policy instruments are acting as drivers for change.

The task has been split into two main phases: the first has been dedicated to conducting a survey of the current situation in all EU Member States, to setting up a policy evaluation methodology and to scoping the objectives of more detailed analysis. During the second phase, a more detailed investigation of the systems that are in place in selected countries for selected waste streams will be conducted.  

The waste streams selected for focus are biodegradable municipal waste and used tyres.

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Ex post evaluation study of taxes on aggregates

In 2005, the Topic Centre surveyed the use of economic instruments to promote material resource efficiency. This was done to select a number of instruments addressing resources of particular interest, and to develop a methodology for evaluation. The outcome of this activity will be published as a working paper at the Topic Centre's web site.

In 2006, aggregates taxes have been selected as the object for evaluation.

The objectives of the project in 2006 are to:

  • Increase understanding of the efficient and effective use of economic instruments in resource management in EEA member countries (i.e. to share good practice and increase knowledge and understanding in this area)
  • Develop a framework for evaluating ex post the efficiency and effectiveness of economic instruments. In particular, to find evidence on how the inclusion of economic instruments in complex policy packages can improve their overall performance and how economic instruments can be used as a prevention tool in terms of resource use and waste generation.
  • Undertake an ex post evaluation of an aggregates tax (or equivalent) in four different countries. The aim is to compare approaches and evaluate the use of aggregate taxes to inform and influence policy development in other countries.

The countries that have been selected include the Czech Republic, Italy, Sweden and the UK so that a range of experiences (e.g. geographical, political etc) can be included in the study.

Members of the project team need to establish contacts with stakeholders in each country that has been selected so that they can understand the context and issues related to the aggregate industry and develop an appropriate framework for the evaluation.

First, the project team will be developing an evaluation plan where advice and support from a small group of contacts will be extremely important. Once this initial analysis and scoping exercise has been completed, a further more detailed country review will take place with a much wider group of stakeholders. A draft country report will then be discussed at a European expert workshop scheduled for November 2006.

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Expert workshop on LCA

The Commission has raised a potential need for simple life cycle-based aggregated indicators for informing decision makers. Some life cycle practitioners question whether the field is mature enough to provide generally accepted aggregated indicators which are sufficiently robust and reliable. 

As a response to that need, the EEA and the ETC organised a workshop on 13 October 2005 at the EEA, bringing together a selected group of life cycle practitioners and decision-makers to debate this issue. The overall objective was to gather knowledge on which methods and indicators are appropriate for use by the EEA over the next two to three years.

The outcome of the workshop were workshop proceedings and a summary report, which are available from the Topic Centre website http://waste.eionet.eu.int/conferences/individual_sites/capacity

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Work programme 2006

The projects the Topic Centre will carry out in 2006 are grouped into four clusters:
 
Cluster 1: Environmental impacts of waste and resources
Cluster 2: Policy assessments
Cluster 3: Indicators, fact sheets and data support
Cluster 4: Miscellaneous

Cluster 1: Environmental impacts of waste and resources
The Topic Centre will continue its activities from 2005 with the project entitled: ‘NAMEA-based Environmental Input-Output Analyses’ (NAMEA: National Accounts Matrix including Environmental Accounts). The overall objective of this project is to establish expertise in the application of environmental input-output analyses for policy support, particularly in the field of sustainable production and consumption patterns.

Furthermore, the Topic Centre will carry out a project that will review and analyse possible methodological approaches to prioritise for potential intervention, materials, waste streams and waste management options, using as criteria their impact on the environment.

Finally, the Centre will be in charge of a project assessing whether transboundary movement of waste for recycling is beneficial from an environmental and economic point of view.

Cluster 2: Policy assessments
The Topic Centre will provide support in assessments of implementation, and analysis of the effectiveness of environmental policies (ex post and ex ante). This includes projects such as ‘Effectiveness analysis of economic instruments in resource policy’, which among other things, will help increase the understanding of the efficient and effective use of economic instruments in resource management in EEA member countries.

Furthermore, a project on the ‘Evaluation of existing waste policies to achieve waste prevention and increased recycling in the EU (landfill/incineration)’, which was initiated in 2005, will continue through 2006. The general objective of this project is to conduct policy assessment to determine how the transposition of the Landfill Directive and the Incineration Directive has contributed to an increase in recycling, recovery and waste prevention, and how the directives have supported the EU waste management hierarchy in general. In 2006 analyses for selected countries will be carried out for two waste streams (biodegradable municipal waste and waste tyres).

Finally, the Topic Centre will contribute to the EEA evaluation of the IPPC directive and support DG Environment in developing a reporting format for the countries to report on the progress of the implementation of the IPP.

Cluster 3: Indicators, fact sheets and data support
The Topic Centre works together with the EEA member countries and the Community institutions (e.g., the Commission, Eurostat) to maintain and improve data flows through support to collection, processing, and quality assurance of waste-related data.

In 2006 the activities will include support to Eurostat in the implementation of the Waste Statistics Regulation and implementing Eurostat's new role as data centre on waste and resources. The work will focus on the establishment of an integrated reporting system. The Topic Centres will also provide support to Eurostat in the further development of the Commission’s Structural indicators. This will be done on the basis of its work in 2005 on creating a revised list of indicators on waste and resources. The end target will be to reach an agreement between Eurostat and EEA on a common list of waste and resource indicators.

Finally, in the beginning of 2006, the Topic Centre will provide assistance to the EU Member States and DG Environment in carrying through the reporting to DG Environment on the implementation of the directive on end-of-life vehicles. For this purpose, DG Environment, EEA and the Topic Centre have jointly developed an electronic questionnaire.

Cluster 4: Miscellaneous
The main project in cluster 4 will be to contribute actively to drafting the chapter on resource, consumption and waste in the Belgrade Report 2007.

Furthermore, the Topic Centre will maintain close links with Eionet and member countries through the Eionet workshop, among others. This year the Topic Centre will continue the support of Turkey and West Balkan, which was initiated in 2005.

In addition the Topic Centre will support knowledge-sharing and exchange of experience among countries through management of the ETC/RWM Website and through our regular electronic newsletter eNews.

The Topic Centre will moreover continue its activities within Outlooks. In 2006 further outlooks will be developed by expanding the number of waste streams.

Finally, the Topic Centre will contribute to the development of a conceptual framework for the analysis of sustainable consumption and production trends and policies in Europe.

Overview of all projects to be carried out in 2006 Below you will find a list of the four clusters with all our associated projects. The seemingly inconsistent numbering is due to our work programme being an extract of the overall EEA annual management plan. For further information on each project, please consult the Implementation Plan 2006



NUMBERING

PROJECT TITLE

Cluster 1

7121

NAMEA-based environmental impacts of waste and resources

7122

Environmental and economic impact from transboundary movement of wast

7123

Methodological approaches to generate information on environmental impact from waste

Cluster 2

5221

Evaluation of the implementation of the IPPC Directive

7131

Evaluation of existing waste policies to achieve waste prevention and increased recycling in the EU (landfill/incineration)

7132

Effectiveness analysis of economic instruments in resource policy

7133

Assistance in developing IPP reporting format

10132

Methodological guidelines for practitioners on policy analysis effectiveness evaluations

Cluster 3

1121

Annual update of the reporting Obligations Database (ROD)

7111

Indicators and fact sheets on waste and resources

7112

Collaboration with the European Commission

2411

Update of coal residues fact sheet

2221

Support to GHG workshop

Cluster 4

10131

Conceptual framework for the analysis of sustainable consumption and production trends and policies in Europe

10111

Waste and resource chapter in Belgrade report

1053

Eco-innovation, jobs and environment

9121

Environmental outlooks

7221

Collaboration with EEA member countries

7222

Programme in support of Turkey

7223

Collaboration with international institutions

1122

Maintenance and update of waste aspects of Eionet

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Publications

Sustainable use and management of natural resources
(EEA report No 9/05)
This report focuses on our ability to continue to provide for our needs by drawing on the natural world. Given the broad coverage of the term 'natural resources', a decision was made at the outset to focus the analysis on a selection of natural resources: fisheries, forestry, water, fossil fuels, metals and construction minerals, and land use. The report was written by the expert team of the European Topic Centre on Resource and Waste Management.

Household consumption and the environment
(EEA report No 11/05)
A renewed policy focus on sustainable consumption and production (SCP) can be observed, both at the global level and in Europe. With an aim to provide input for European policy-making, this report analyses the environmental effects of household consumption in Europe.  The Topic Centre participated in the advisory group and prepared a background paper on 'Waste and resources'.

Iron and steel - a materials system analysis
(ETC working paper)
Based on signals by DG Environment in the context of the development of a Thematic Strategy on Sustainable Use of Natural Resources, the EEA and the Topic Centre initiated a pilot study examining the life cycle of a single industrial resource stream. The aim was to identify the potential for decoupling environmental impacts from resource use. Iron and steel was chosen as the subject of this pilot study as earlier studies have indicated it to be one of the priority resources in the EU in terms of environmental impact.

Effectiveness of packaging waste management systems in selected countries
(an EEA pilot study)
This pilot study is an evaluation of the effectiveness of packaging waste management systems in Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Italy and the United Kingdom. It is an ex post analysis of the effectiveness of the systems in terms of their contribution to fulfilling the environmental objectives specified in the EU directive, and national targets where applicable.

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Expert workshop on LCA

The Commission has raised a potential need for simple life cycle-based aggregated indicators for informing decision makers. Some life cycle practitioners question whether the field is mature enough to provide generally accepted aggregated indicators which are sufficiently robust and reliable. 

As a response to that need, the EEA and the ETC organised a workshop on 13 October 2005 at the EEA, bringing together a selected group of life cycle practitioners and decision-makers to debate this issue. The overall objective was to gather knowledge on which methods and indicators are appropriate for use by the EEA over the next two to three years.

The outcome of the workshop were workshop proceedings and a summary report, which are available from the Topic Centre website:
http://waste.eionet.eu.int/conferences/individual_sites/capacity

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Contact

Please contact Rikke Carlsen at the Topic Centre etcw-rp@mst.dk if you have any comments or suggestions for eNews.

European Topic Centre on Resource and Waste Management
Højbro Plads 4, Mezzaninen
DK-1200 Copenhagen K
Tel: +45 33 92 76 90 - Fax: +45 33 32 22 27
etcw@mst.dk


Visit the European portal to information on resource and waste management.
http://waste.eionet.eu.int


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The aim of the electronic newsletter is to provide the National Focal Points (NFPs) and the National Reference Centres (NRCs) with information on the activities of the Topic Centre. The newsletters will also report on the expected involvement of Eionet in the future and inform on progress on reports, which have been sent to the EEA for Eionet review and consultation.

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