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EC urges four SEE member states to improve waste management

EC urges four SEE member states to improve waste management Landfill

SOFIA (Bulgaria), November 12 (SeeNews) - The European Commission said on Friday that it is sending letters of formal notice to Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece and Romania, calling on them to comply with EU laws on waste management - the Landfill Directive and the Waste Framework Directive.

These member states are urged to ensure appropriate treatment of waste before landfilling, the Commission said in a statement.

In Bulgaria, the studies revealed shortcomings in all visited sites. In 52 landfills, waste is not subject to treatment that includes an adequate selection of waste streams, according to the Commission.

In Croatia and Romania, the studies revealed shortcomings in all visited sites and that municipal waste is being landfilled without any treatment, the Commission noted.

In the case of Romania, the Commission has also decided to refer an additional case back to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failure to comply with the Landfill Directive.

In a separate case as regards Romania, 109 landfills had to be closed and rehabilitated by July 16, 2009, according to the Landfill Directive. On 18 October 2018, the Court of Justice of the EU found that Romania failed to fulfill its obligations in relation to 68 landfills.

"Despite some progress, Romania has not fully complied with the court judgment and to date there are still 42 landfills which are not closed and for many of them, the work for their rehabilitation is not yet planned," the Commission said adding that similar infringement procedures are ongoing in relation to Bulgaria and Slovenia.

For Greece, the studies revealed a lack of sufficient treatment facilities in the country and insufficient separate collection.

According to EU rules, where landfilling cannot be avoided, member states must take measures to ensure that only waste that has been subject to treatment is landfilled. The treatment of waste before landfilling cannot take whatever form but needs to be the most appropriate to reduce as far as possible negative impacts on the environment and human health, EC's statement read.

Due to failure to apply the Landfill Directive correctly, citizens and businesses from Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Greece might not be able to fully benefit from the provisions of the directive, leading to higher health risks and more polluted environment. In addition, where recyclable waste is landfilled, materials are unnecessarily lost from Europe's economy, the Commission said.