An international voluntary agreement has been struck between the UK, France, Flanders and the Netherlands designed to stimulate international trading of secondary resources left over after waste incineration, such as incinerator bottom ash. As LetsRecycle.com reveals the deal, signed on March 3rd in Brussels, could also impact on the trading of refuse derived fuel (RDF), plastics and compost. The deal will allow improved recovery from Incineration Bottom Ash (IBA) of plastics and ultra-fine non-ferrous metals such as aluminium, lead, zinc, silver and gold, with one Dutch company – Inashco – having already developed a technique to recover these materials from IBA. A team made up of government representatives and business communities from the participating countries will continue to work on further solutions aimed at removing trade barriers at borders.
Meanwhile, the UK government is reviewing whether recovery of IBA material should count towards the nation’s overall recycling performance and has asked the European Commission for a ruling. Some of the EU’s top performing Member States on recycling including Austria and Germany are already counting material recovered from IBA towards recycling rates.
The agreement also offers a boost for the biogas sector in the countries as compost will be easier to trade in other country’s markets where it is viewed as fertiliser rather than waste, according to the statement. In the longer term, new materials may be also added to the listed materials until 2021, if there are perceived policy barriers to export.
This is one more step towards the creation of a common European Secondary Materials Market without the traditional trade and bureaucratic barriers, something usually called a Waste Shengen Area.