FIEC lobbies Parliament on Waste Directive

24 April 2008

The European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) is lobbying the European Parliament to amend the Waste Framework Directive. FIEC says construction costs will rise unless inert, uncontaminated, naturally occurring excavated materials are excluded from the scope of the Directive.

Definition

FIEC says that under the Directive's definitions, 40% of the waste generated in Europe comes from construction activities. However, most of this is inert material, more than half of which is recycled or re-used. A significant part is excavated material, which is often moved from one site to another for re-use.

But under the terms of the Directive, such material would be considered ‘waste' rather than a ‘product'. FIEC says this change in status entails extra costs and administrative burdens for the industry.

FIEC's proposal to the European Parliament is that natural materials occurring in the Earth's crust, which are not contaminated and which can be used in their natural state, should be excluded from the scope of the Directive. This would apply regardless of whether they remained near the point of extraction, or were moved to another site.

FIEC is also concerned about construction & demolition (C&D) waste recovered during selective demolition or dismantling. Such materials include kerb stones, timber, natural stone and tiles. It argues these materials should no longer be considered ‘waste' once they have been cleaned and sorted, and are in conformaty with a recognised product standard.

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