Materials or gases? How to capture carbon

This study explores mixed waste sorting as a cost-effective strategy for substantial reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from waste incineration, challenging the viability of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). Comparing Leftover Mixed Waste Sorting (LMWS) and CCS, the study suggests LMWS as a swift, economical approach for municipalities and incineration operators to achieve significant GHG reductions, offering flexibility and avoiding excessive costs linked to CCS. The ‘low-regret’ nature of LMWS is highlighted, aiding Member States in meeting recycling and climate targets while reducing incineration capacity.

Available in English.

Guidance for the interpretation of the European Parliament proposal on Art. 29 of the REDIII regarding mixed waste sorting systems of ‘defined quality’

This policy briefing by Reloop and Zero Waste Europe provides guidelines for legislating mixed waste sorting (MWS) in the context of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED). The guidelines were developed to clarify the amendment proposed by the European Parliament regarding the use of mixed wastes for ‘renewable energy’ purposes. The document recommends applying MWS systems of defined quality to remove fossil-derived materials to ensure that only biogenic waste is used for renewable energy generation. Following the requirement, the operators would either need to pre-sort the waste on-site or demonstrate that all waste received has undergone sorting prior to it being delivered for incineration.

Available in English.

Mixed Waste Sorting to meet the EU’s Circular Economy Objectives

This report and policy briefing studied whether, and to what extent, the EU recycling targets can be met through improved recyclability of packaging and increased separate collections of municipal waste—and, if not, what measures could be taken to achieve them.

It has examined the role mixed waste sorting (MWS) could play in three EU countries with high recycling performance – Germany, Belgium, and Sweden. The conclusion was concluded that, in addition to separate collection and improved recyclability of plastic packaging, a full roll-out of effective MWS is necessary to ensure that recycling targets are consistently met and to ensure progress towards the EU’s wider carbon emissions reduction goals.

Available in English.

The story of Vrhnika

In a country that, until 2001, had no national targets for separate waste collection, the case of the small municipality of Vrhnika in Slovenia shows how a community can make strides towards a zero waste objective in a short time.

How did this small area go from landfilling everything to recycling most of its municipal solid waste in 20 years? Discover on our case study.

Available in English, Catalan, Euskera, French, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Slovenian, and Spanish.

The Story of Capannori

Located in the North of Italy, Capannori has one of the highest municipal recycling rates in Europe. This zero waste town exemplifies how strong policy decisions and community participation achieving groundbreaking results.

This case study reviews the story of their success to date.

Available in English, Bulgarian, Catalan, Euskera, French, Italian, Polish, Romanian, and Spanish.