Policy profile: The application of waste legislation to bio-energy

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Series Details Vol.16, No.6, November-December 2006, p368-375
Publication Date November 2006
ISSN 0961-0405
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This article examines the EU Waste Directive and the implications of recent European case law for its implementation at national level. In particular, we consider how the directive has been implemented in the United Kingdom and the potential effects this may have on the use of forestry by-products as a bio-energy source. The analysis reveals that it is still unclear whether bio-energy materials derived from sawmill operations are waste according to EU and consequently UK law. This uncertainty may pose a barrier to the uptake of biomass of renewable energy. However, a new Framework Directive on Waste has now been proposed, which, if adopted, will resolve much of this uncertainty. Most importantly, the proposed directive provides for automatic classification of certain materials as by-products, rather than waste, a reform that is likely to lead to exemption of woodchips, sawdust, bark and other forestry products from waste-related obligations.

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