Brussels 3rd June -- Dr Caroline Jackson MEP, European Parliament rapporteur on the Waste Framework Directive, today urged the Council of Ministers to give its support to strict recycling targets. Recycling targets are due for discussion in Wednesday's meeting of the COREPER in which the results of Monday evening's meeting with the Commission and Parliament (trialogue) will be discussed.
Discussion at the informal trialogue on Monday focused mainly on targets for recycling waste which the Parliament inserted into the Directive. Agreement between the two sides was reached on a policy to promote waste prevention objectives, on incorporating a definition of by-products and including a separate article on bio-waste. Dr Jackson believes that the Parliament and Council are half way to a good agreement.
Issues remaining include the exact wording of how the Member States may achieve the recycling targets. The Council resisted attempts by the Parliament to promote the idea that the Member States 'shall take measures to achieve' the targets and would like a more tentative text.
Also at issue is the question of percentage targets. MEPs are fighting for 50% for household waste and 70% for construction and demolition waste whilst the Council is offering only 45% and 65%.
Rapporteur Dr Jackson said:
"This is a very difficult issue for the Council as some Member States can meet the targets easily while other will struggle. But we must make certain that the targets are meaningful and enforceable. I have made this clear to the Council.
"It is also important for all parties to recognise that we have come a very long way from the original Commission draft, which contained no recycling targets.
"The alternative to the package now on the table is not a better package, but no package at all - a return to the 1975 directive with no targets and with none of the new definitions and clarities which the draft directive seeks to introduce. If we really want to get real on waste management and recycling, this alternative is simply not an option."