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Environment in the VET system: a powerful tool for the future. Project No. 2016-1-IT01-KA202-005387

Advanced Didactic Module 2.1: Didactic manual on “Waste management�

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The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

PROJECT NO. 2016-1-IT01-KA202-005387


Notes: Relate these contents to slide 4 and 5 of the didactic presentation in PowerPoint. Points to be stressed:

Key message:

Example: -

On average, we generate 157 kg of packaging waste per capita in the EU. Every year, the generation of some 74 million tonnes of hazardous waste is reported in the EU. Electrical and electronic equipment is the fastest growing waste stream in the EU, estimated to reach 12 million tonnes a year by 2020.

Waste treatment statistics In 2014, some 2 320 million tonnes of waste were treated in the EU-28 this includes the treatment of waste imported into the EU and the reported amounts are therefore not directly comparable with those on waste generation.

The smallest EU Member States generally reported the lowest levels of waste generation and the larger ones the highest. Nevertheless, relatively high quantities of waste were generated in Bulgaria and Romania and a relatively low quantity in

PROJECT NO. 2016-1-IT01-KA202-005387



Member states will have to set up, by 1 January 2025, separate collection for textiles and for hazardous waste from households. In addition, they have to ensure that by 31 December 2023, bio-waste is either collected separately or recycled at source (e. g. home composting). This is in addition to the separate collection which already exists for paper and cardboard, glass, metals and plastic. Specific targets for packaging will be as follows:

Notes: Relate these contents to slides 13 and 14 of the didactic presentation in PowerPoint. Points to be stressed:

Key message:


Waste hierarchy

The waste hierarchy is one of a number of principles of waste management, which underline that prevention is the best option, followed by re-use, recycling and other forms of recovery, with disposal such as landfill as the last resort. EU waste legislation aims to move waste management up the waste hierarchy.

A life-cycle approach The new Waste Framework Directive has also introduced the concept of life-cycle thinking into waste policies. This approach gives a broader view of all PROJECT NO. 2016-1-IT01-KA202-005387


environmental aspects and ensures any action has an overall benefit compared to other options. It also means actions to deal with waste should be compatible with other environmental initiatives.

Notes: Relate these contents to slides 13, 14 and 15 of the didactic presentation in PowerPoint. Points to be stressed:

Key message:

Example: Life Cycle Thinking seeks to identify possible improvements to goods and services in the form of lower environmental impacts and reduced use of resources across all life cycle stages. This begins with raw material extraction and conversion, then manufacture and distribution, through to use and/or consumption. It ends with reuse, recycling of materials, energy recovery and ultimate disposal. Municipal Waste

Municipal waste consists of waste collected by or on behalf of municipal authorities, or directly by the private sector (business or private non-profit institutions) not on behalf of municipalities. The bulk of the waste stream originates from households, though similar wastes from sources such as commerce, offices, public institutions and selected municipal services are also included. It also includes bulky waste but excludes waste from municipal sewage networks and municipal construction and demolition waste. Although municipal waste represents only around 10 % of total waste generated in the EU (it is very visible, and prevention of this waste has the potential to reduce its environmental impact not only during the consumption and the waste phases but also throughout the whole life cycle of the products consumed. Countries that have developed efficient municipal waste management systems generally perform better in overall waste management. Total municipal waste generation in the EEA countries declined by 3 % in absolute terms and average generation per person by 7 % from 2004 to 2014. The EU is moving away from landfilling but that the share of incineration is also growing, with a 52 % increase between 2004 and 2015, compared with a 47 % increase for recycling (including composting and digestion).

PROJECT NO. 2016-1-IT01-KA202-005387


Landfill Landfill is the oldest form of waste treatment and the least desirable option because of the many potential adverse impacts it can have. The airtight conditions of landfill sites mean that materials, in particular biodegradable waste, cannot decompose fully and, in the absence of oxygen, give off methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas.

Notes: Relate these contents to slides 16, 17 and 18 of the didactic presentation in PowerPoint. Points to be stressed:

The methane produced by an average municipal landfill site, if converted to energy, could provide electricity to approximately 20,000 households for a year. An average municipal landfill site can produce up to 150 m³ of leachate a day, which equates to the amount of fresh water that an average household consumes in a year.

Key message:

It is estimated that the materials sent to landfill could have an annual commercial value of around €5.25 billion. Example: Energy recovery Energy recovery through incineration is often NOT the most efficient way of managing used materials, particularly those that are difficult to burn or which release chemicals at high temperatures. Member States are encouraged to use life-cycle thinking to weigh up the possible environmental benefits and drawbacks when deciding whether to incinerate waste. Primary energy production from municipal waste incineration has more than doubled since 1995.

Getting the best out of bio-waste Bio-waste (garden, kitchen and food waste) accounts for about 1/3 of the waste we throw away at home – that is around 88 million tonnes across Europe each year. On average, 40% of bio-waste in the EU goes into landfills. However, biowaste holds considerable promise as a renewable source of energy and recycled compost. Energy recovered in the form of bio-gas or thermal energy can help in the fight against climate change. According to estimates, about one-third of the EU’s 2020 target for renewable energy in transport could be met by using bio-gas produced from bio-waste, while around 2% of the EU’s overall renewable energy target could be met if all biowaste was turned into energy. Compost made from bio-waste can also improve the quality of our soils, replacing non-renewable fertilizers. In 1995, more than 13 million tonnes of municipal waste were composted by Member States. By 2008, this had reached an estimated 43.5 million tonnes, accounting for 17% of municipal waste.

PROJECT NO. 2016-1-IT01-KA202-005387


Recycling: Extended producer responsibility Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a policy approach under which producers are given a significant responsibility – financial and/or physical – for the treatment or disposal of post-consumer products. Assigning such responsibility could in principle provide incentives to prevent wastes at the source, promote product design for the environment and support the achievement of public recycling and materials management goals. Within the OECD the trend is towards the extension of EPR to new products, product groups and waste streams such as electrical appliances and electronics. An example of producer responsibility is the ‘Green Dot’ system currently operating in many Member States. Producers placing material on the market pay a levy for the collection and recycling of a related amount of waste material. This forces them to consider the whole life cycle of the goods they produce. The Green Dot is the financing symbol for the organisation of recovery, sorting and recycling of sales packaging. When you see the Green Dot on packaging it means that for such packaging, a financial contribution has been paid to a qualified national packaging recovery organisation.

Notes: Relate these contents to slides 19, 20 and 21 of the didactic presentation in PowerPoint. Points to be stressed:

Key message:


Waste management: Re-use Re-use involves the repeated use of products and components for the same purpose for which they were conceived. Refrigerators, ink cartridges and computer printers, for example, can all be refurbished for re-use. The re-use of products or materials such as clothes and furniture that would otherwise become waste has social, economic and environmental benefits, creating jobs and making products available to consumers who could not necessarily afford to buy them new. Many Member States are introducing policies which encourage re-use and markets in re-used goods.

Waste management: Prevention Good waste management begins with preventing waste being produced in the first place – after all, what is not produced does not have to be disposed of. One of the key tools being used to encourage waste prevention is eco-design, which focuses on environmental aspects during the conception and design phase of a product. Eco-friendly products should be made using recycled secondary raw materials and should avoid the use of hazardous substances. These products should consume less energy during the use phase and should be able to be recycled once they have been discarded. Waste prevention is closely linked to improving manufacturing methods and influencing consumers so that they demand greener products and less packaging.

PROJECT NO. 2016-1-IT01-KA202-005387


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Module 2.1 - Didactic document - Preview  

Module 2.1 - Didactic document - Preview