Municipal solid waste management in Germany by po2933

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									2006 Municipal Solid Waste Management Report                                                Page 1 of 47
as at: 1 September 2006

                                   Table of contents
                 Municipal solid waste management in 2006
           TASi one year on – no wastes landfilled without pretreatment
                          in Germany since 1 June 2005
               – A new era has dawned in municipal solid waste management –

As at: 1 September 2006

   1. Introduction ....................................................................... page 02-03
   2. Why were the Technical Instructions originally issued? ........... page 03-06
      * Why is conventional landfilling not safe? ............................ page 04-06
   3. The legal position in the 1990s 06-09
   4. Patchy implementation of the Technical Instructions .............. page 09-10
   5. The new legal situation from 2001 10-18
      * Waste Storage Ordinance ................................................. page 10-11
      * Thirtieth Federal Immission Control Ordinance ................... page 12-12
      * Mechanical-biological treatment of residual wastes ............. page 12-17
      * Amended 17th Federal Immission Control Ordinance ........... page 17-18
   6. Attempts to evade the standards applying to environmentally safe municipal
      solid waste management ..................................................... page 19-23
      * Conformity with EU law .................................................... page 19-20
      * Licenses granted under planning law 20-20
      * Temporary landfilling ........................................................ page 21-22
      * Recovery at landfills ......................................................... page 20-21
      * Waste exports .................................................................. page 22-23
   7. Municipal solid waste arisings and treatment capacities .......... page 23-38
      * Waste quantities .............................................................. page 23-26
      * Current state of implementation of the Waste Storage Ordinance                            page 26-
      * Pretreatment capacities available, planned and realized ....... page 28-29
      * Difficulties with implementation 29-30
      * Managing domestic wastes ............................................... page 30-30
      * Managing commercial wastes ............................................ page 31-31
      * Interim storage ................................................................ page 32-32
      * Managing high calorific value wastes ................................. page 32-33
      * Possible solutions ............................................................. page 33-36
      * Conclusion ....................................................................... page 37-37
   8. Waste management for climate change mitigation ................. page 38-41
   9. Full recovery of municipal solid waste by 2020 ...................... page 41-47
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                                                                        1 September 2006

            Municipal solid waste management in Germany

         TASi one year on – no wastes landfilled without pretreatment
                        in Germany since 1 June 2005
           – A new era has dawned in municipal solid waste management –

                                1 June 2005 saw the dawn of a new era
                                             in Germany
                                        (Photo: Getty Images)

1. Introduction
The landfilling of untreated biodegradable matter and of municipal solid waste
containing organics ceased on 1 June 2005 in Germany. This occurred on schedule
throughout the country – as required by the Technical Instructions on Waste from
Human Settlements (Technische Anleitung Siedlungsabfall, TASi) and the Waste
Storage Ordinance (Abfallablagerungsverordnung, AbfAblV). At the same time, some
200 landfills which failed to comply with the new standards were closed, marking the
end of centuries of waste management by 'burying and forgetting'. Those days
generated countless landfills and other contaminated sites which future generations
will have to clean up at great effort and expense. The recent paradigm shift in
municipal solid waste management is on a par with the introduction of catalytic
converters for cars or the rules for waste incineration plants established by the 17th
Federal Immission Control Ordinance (BImSchV) in the early 1990s.
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This publication illustrates
-    Why it was essential to stop landfilling unpretreated municipal solid waste (MSW),
-    What the obstacles were to attaining the 2005 target,
-    How MSW management has developed from 1 June 2005 onwards and which
     obstacles remain, and
-    How MSW management is expected to develop in the future.

2. Why were the Technical Instructions originally issued?
In the late 1980s, there was talk of ‘waste mountains’ and a ‘waste management crisis’.
The amount of waste kept growing, while management options became increasingly
limited. Yet there was little public appetite for any new waste management
infrastructure, regardless of whether this meant incinerators, landfills or composting

The public’s attitude was prompted by fears that waste treatment facilities, and above
all incinerators, would release harmful air pollutants (primarily dioxins, heavy metals
and particulates) liable to cause health and environmental problems.

At the same time, it was becoming clear that the – then standard – practice of
dumping untreated waste in inadequately lined landfills was leading to soil, surface
water and groundwater contamination and to emissions of landfill gas, a contributor to
global warming. Neighbours complained of smells, dust and airborne shreds of paper
and plastic. Considerable advances were made in landfilling techniques, including
elaborate liners, methods for collecting and purifying leachate, and ways of capturing
and utilizing landfill gas. But, despite all this progress, conventional landfilling could
not be made environmentally safe in the long term. Contaminated sites also
represented a risk after they had been closed, leaving future generations with a huge
cleanup bill.
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Why is conventional landfilling not safe?
Waste contains various types and quantities of both harmful and biologically
degradable substances, which react biologically and chemically in a landfill as they
would in a reactor. As a result, rainwater permeating the landfill body turns into
potentially groundwater-polluting leachate, contaminated with the many organic and
inorganic substances in the landfill. Biological degradation in the landfill body forms
landfill gas rich in methane. This escapes to pollute the atmosphere, and is a
significant contributor to global warming.

                        Landfills put the environment at risk
                Landfill gas, leachate and odours are problematic

Probleme der Deponie = Landfill problems
Abfälle = Wastes
Luftschadstoffe = Air pollutants
Oberflächenwasser = Surface water
Sickerwasser = Leachate
Wasser = Water
Deponie = Landfill
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Thus conventional landfilling is a major source of the greenhouse gas methane;
methane emissions from landfills have in the past accounted for about 25% of the
total methane emissions for Germany. Methane is a greenhouse gas 21 times more
potent than CO2, and causes lasting damage to the atmosphere.

In view of the doubts which exist about the durability of landfill liners, there is no
guarantee that technical measures will be able to contain pollutants in a landfill body
indefinitely. To prevent adverse environmental effects, conventional landfilling would
therefore require extensive post-closure, monitoring and remedial work over many
decades, or even centuries, in order to ensure that leachate and landfill gas remain

             Source: IFEU-Institut, German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) 2006

Deponieaufbau = Landfill structure
Grundwasserkontrolle = Groundwater monitoring
Überdachung = Roofing
ggf. Entgasung = Degasification, if appropriate
Kontrollschacht = Inspection shaft
Oberflächenabdichtung = Surface cap
Sickerwassererfassung = Leachate collection
Grundwasser = Groundwater
Geologie/Deponieauflage = Geology/landfill subbase
Abfall: = Waste:
Zuordungswerte = Assignment criteria
Eingangskontrolle = Incoming inspection
Ablagerungsbereich = Storage area
Vorbehandlung = Pretreatment
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The only solution is to treat the waste, so that it is remains safe in landfill for the long
term. In a 1990 special report on waste management, the German Advisory Council on
the Environment (SRU) recommended that residual waste should only be landfilled
after it is converted to a mineral- or ore-like form by means of thermal treatment
(Sachverständigenrat für Umweltfragen: Sondergutachten Abfallwirtschaft, Bundestags-
Drucksache 11/8493).

Against this backdrop, the standards for waste disposal (treatment and landfilling) were
recast in the early 1990s. The changes made affected standards both for building and
operating landfills and for the (thermal) treatment of waste; mechanical-biological
treatment (MBT) systems were still in their infancy, and were not yet widely deployed.

3. The legal position in the 1990s
When they entered into force in 1993, the Technical Instructions on Waste laid down
the state of the art in terms of landfilling waste from human settlements. Everyone
involved had binding transitional periods in which to implement the new standards, and
this provided legal and planning certainty.

Technical Instructions on Waste from Human Settlements (TASi):
– Progressive technical standards for landfilling waste –
The German Bundesrat approved the Technical Instructions on Waste from Human
Settlements (Technische Anleitung Siedlungsabfall, TASi) with a large majority in
1991. The Technical Instructions entered into force on 1 June 1993. Their objective
is to ensure that landfills throughout Germany are environmentally sound, safe for
the long term and require a minimum of aftercare. To this end, they lay down
requirements on the location, design and operation of landfills and on the
composition of waste accepted for landfilling (landfill classification criteria).
Recognising the finite effectiveness and lifetime of protective barriers (liners), the
Technical Instructions take a multi-barrier approach, combining four barrier
components – geology, liner, waste and cap – for lasting containment, and attaching
the greatest importance to the composition of waste as a ‘barrier’ in its own right. In
order to meet the composition requirements, waste with biologically degradable
constituents – mostly domestic waste, but also commercial waste similar to domestic
waste, and sewage sludge – must be treated prior to landfilling to ensure it is inert
and stable. Organic constituents must be largely mineralized, and soluble harmful
substances converted into stable insoluble materials. Limits are also laid down for
residual quantities of organic material (measured as ignition losses and TOC) and
eluates (mostly heavy metals).
The Technical Instructions do not prescribe the treatment methods to be used.
However, their stringent requirements could not be met using the mechanical-
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biological treatments available at the time; they could only be met using thermal
treatments such as waste incineration. To give the waste management infrastructure
time to adapt, the competent authorities were permitted to grant exceptions allowing
landfilling of untreated waste to continue for a maximum of 12 years.

Most public waste management authorities complied with the obligations by building
treatment facilities at considerable expense, cooperating with other public waste
management authorities or purchasing waste management services under contract.
Numerous environmentally unsafe landfills were also closed, and others were upgraded
to meet the requirements of the Technical Instructions.

Table 1 shows the number of municipal solid waste landfills for the period
from 1990 to 2000:

                                                             1990                 1993                    1995         1998                      2000
Landfills                                                 8.273                   562                     472          421                        333
Landfills (eastern                                        7.983                   292                     202           179                        --

                                                       Volum remaining in Dec. 2000 and number of landfills allowed to continue operation
          Number or volume [million m³]

                                          400                                                                    400   Remaining
                                          350    375                                                             350   data not robust

                                          300                                                                    300   Remaining
                                          250                                                                    250   robust data

                                          200                                                                    200
                                                                                                                       Number of
                                                                                                                       landfills inline
                                          150                          83                                        150     ith
                                                                                                                       w standards –
                                                                            139                                        robust data
                                          100                                                      111           100
                                                                                                                       Number of
                                                                      89                    76                         landfills inline
                                           50                                                                    50      ith
                                                                                                                       w standards –
                                                                                                                       robust + non-robust
                                                                              35                     27
                                            0                                                                    0
                                                after 31.12.2000    after 31.05.2005     after 16.07.2009

         Source: BMU F+E-Vorhaben Deponiestilllegung, Institut für Siedlungswasserwirtschaft und Abfalltechnik
         der Universität Hannover (ISAH)
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The emissions standards for waste incinerators were also tightened up.

 Seventeenth Federal Immission Control Ordinance (17th BImSchV)
 Strict waste incineration standards
 When it entered into force on 1 December 1990, the Seventeenth Federal
 Immission Control Ordinance regulating incinerators for waste and similar
 combustible material introduced the world’s tightest emission limits, most notably
 for dioxins and furans (0.1 ng TEQ/m3) and for heavy metals. Existing incinerators
 had to be upgraded or taken out of use within a six year transitional period. New
 incinerators had to operate within the limits from the outset.

This has effectively turned incinerators into pollutant 'sinks'. On incineration, organic
constituents are reliably destroyed and other harmful substances made inert or
extracted (by flue gas scrubbers). In terms of by-products, metals are separated out
for recycling, the slag can be reused after reprocessing, and the energy output can be
used as heat and electric power. Only small quantities of scrubber residue are left over
to be disposed of as waste, usually below ground.

                               Waste incineration plant

Anlieferung = Reception
Bunker = Bunker
Feuerung/Dampferzeuger = Incineration chamber/steam production
Abgasreinigung = Flue gas purification
Kamin = Stack
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A milestone in the implementation of the Technical Instructions was the entry into
force of the German Closed Substance Cycle and Waste Management Act
(Kreislaufwirtschafts- und Abfallgesetz, KrW-/AbfG) in 1996.

Among other things, the new act redefined waste to include waste for recovery and
took the polluter pays principle to its logical conclusion by making private-sector
generators of waste, not just municipalities, responsible for dealing with waste. The
new waste management arrangements made commercial operations responsible for
their own recoverable waste, while public authorities remained responsible for
domestic waste and for non-recoverable commercial waste. The provisions
introducing the polluter pays principle and reducing the onus on public authorities
came partly in response to calls from municipalities labouring under a growing waste
burden in the early 1990s.

4. Patchy implementation of the Technical Instructions
From the outset, the high cost of implementing the Technical Instructions prompted
many local authorities to cast legal doubts over them or seek other means of
circumventing them. The main area of contention preventing the planned rapid phase-
out of landfilling untreated domestic waste was the question, brought forward on
numerous occasions by interested parties from the moment the Technical Instructions
came into force in 1993, of the permissibility under Section 2.4 of exceptional
departures from the rule of mechanical-biological treatments and of landfilling material
left over after such treatments. In fact, in some cases such departures became the
rule. While by no means a national phenomenon, the application of Section 2.4 by
certain Länder agencies got out of hand, with extensions being granted far in excess
of the 2005 cut-off date.
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Enforcement of the Closed Substance Cycle and Waste Management Act was also
hampered by the fact that it was sometimes hard to maintain the distinction,
originating in EU law, between waste for recovery (for which its generators are
responsible) and waste for disposal (to be consigned to municipal waste management
authorities). Some commercial operators tried to exploit this difficulty by declaring
waste for disposal as waste for recovery, thus evading the fees for obligatory municipal
disposal. This practice of false declarations meant waste being withheld from the very
municipalities that had invested more in their waste management infrastructure and
charged higher fees as a result.

The real reason for the false declaration problem was actually haphazard application
of the Technical Instructions: after a superficial sorting – purely to justify declaration
as waste for recovery – commercial waste in particular ended up almost exclusively in
landfills belonging to other municipalities that had not yet complied with the Technical
Instructions, and consequently had significantly lower landfilling fees. This patchy
implementation of the Technical Instructions therefore also ran counter to the Closed
Substance Cycle and Waste Management Act, which prioritized recovery.

It became a matter of urgency to take preventive action and do justice to
advancements in waste management technology. The law on the management of
waste from human settlements therefore underwent a comprehensive review.

5. The new legal situation from 2001

  Waste Storage Ordinance
The Ordinance on the Environmentally Compatible Storage of Waste from Human
Settlements (AbfAblV), which entered into force on 1 March 2001, enacted the
modifications that had become necessary to the Technical Instructions on Waste and
settled the areas of contention. It also served to transpose the municipal waste
provisions of the EU Landfill Directive into German law. Substantively, the Waste
Storage Ordinance retained the strict requirements on waste landfilling and landfill
design and operation that had been established by the Technical Instructions. However,
the requirements took on greater legal force: now enacted as secondary legislation,
they placed a direct legal obligation on waste holders and landfill operators. Notably,
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this greater statutory force extends to landfill classification criteria and transitional
periods. Exemptions permitting untreated waste to be landfilled after 1 June 2005 are
no longer permissible. Thus any lengthier exemptions previously granted under the
Technical Instructions will now automatically expire on that date. This means that
biologically degradable waste definitely must be treated before landfilling as of 1 June

                  Source: IFEU-Institut, Federal Environment Agency (UBA) 2006

Two modern processes replace direct emplacement
Strict stipulations demand modern technology
Mechanisch-Biologische Behandlung = Mechanical-biological treatment
Abfallverbrennung = Waste incineration
Deponie = Landfill

Following recent findings from research and practical experience, the Waste Storage
Ordinance added supplementary landfill classification criteria and emplacement rules
that open the way for the mechanical-biological treatment of residual waste. As well as
requiring that biogenic constituents be largely biodegraded, these involve separating
off high calorific value constituents such as plastics, wood, paper and cardboard (40-
50% average content). These high calorific value constituents are to be used for
energy in high-efficiency power stations and industrial co-combustion plants, instead of
being buried in landfills as they were in the past. Finally, landfills that do not comply
with the Ordinance must be closed by 2009 at the latest.
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Thirtieth Federal Immission Control Ordinance
Since the Waste Storage Ordinance also permitted mechanical-biological treatments, the
concurrently enacted Thirtieth Federal Immission Control Ordinance (30. BImSchV) laid
down strict requirements for MBT facilities. These correspond to the requirements for
waste incinerators: MBT facilities must be enclosed and operate below the emission
limits at which regenerative thermal oxidation (RTO) technology is needed to clean the
exhaust gases. Legacy facilities must be retrofitted or decommissioned by 1 March

Mechanical-biological treatment of residual wastes

Mechanical-biological treatment is a further process, besides waste incineration, that can
be used to dispose of municipal solid waste (MSW) in an environmentally sound manner.
Two variants of the mechanical or mechanical-biological waste treatment process have
emerged. They differ in terms of their treatment stages and the material streams which
they generate.
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                                Mechanical-biological treatment facility;
                             dry stabilization plant in Rennerode, Westerwald
                                     (Photo: Herhof Umwelt GmbH)

The first of these is material-stream specific treatment or curing. Its principal objective
is to pretreat wastes for their environmentally sound emplacement in landfills. In order
to prevent biodegradation processes and their associated emissions arising within the
landfill body, the pretreatment process seeks to biodegrade the bulk of the organic
constituents. In the mechanical stages of the process, high calorific value fractions such
as plastics are removed for energy recovery, and metals are separated for materials
recycling. The biological treatment stages use aerobic (rotting), anaerobic
(fermentation) or combined processes. Anaerobic processes produce biogas which can
be used for energy production.
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Mass flows of a typical mechanical-biological treatment facility with material-stream
specific treatment (*variant with fermentation, mass percentage figures)
Abfallanlieferung = Waste reception
Fraktion= Fraction
1. Mechanische Aufbereitung = 1st mechanical processing
Vergärung (optional) = Fermentation (optional)
Metalle = Metals
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Gärrückstand = Fermentation residue
Biogas = Biogas
Biologische Behandlung (Rotte) = Biological treatment (composting)
Rotteverluste = Composting losses
Pressung oder Pelletierung der Leichtfraktion = Compaction or pelletization of the
lightweight fraction
2. Mechanische Aufbereitung = 2nd mechanical processing
Abluftbehandlung = Exhaust treatment
Termische Behandlung = Thermal treatment
Deponie = Landfill
Abgas CO2, Spurenstoffe (org. Stoffe, Methan usw.) = Exhaust CO2, trace substances
(organic substances, methane etc.)
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                               Source: BMU, UMWELT

Verfahrensablauf der mechanisch-biologischen Abfallbehandlung = Process schematic of
mechanical-biological waste treatment
Mechanische Vorbehandlung = Mechanical pretreatment
Biologische Behandlung = Biological treatment
Mechanische Nachbehandlung = Mechanical post-processing
Teilstrom (optional) = Sub-stream (optional)
Energetische Nutzung = Energy recovery
Stoffliche Verwertung = Materials recycling
Ablagerung Deponie = Placement in landfill

Stabilization facilities (mechanical-biological stabilization – MBS) are the second type. They
aim to conserve the bulk of the biogenic constituents in the stabilized high calorific value
material, and to produce further fractions suited for recovery. Wastes are dried biologically
prior to further treatment in order to improve their processing properties. This is usually
preceded only by a conditioning stage, usually simply comminution. The entire materials
stream is generally consigned to biological drying, with the main aim of reducing levels of
moisture in the wastes while degrading organic substances as little as possible. The heat
generated by the self-heating of organic waste constituents is used to evaporate the
moisture. In the final dry-mechanical treatment stage, the dried wastes are quality graded
into one or more high calorific value fractions once metals, inert substances and undesired
substances have been separated out. Secondary wastes are not normally consigned to
landfill; where this does happen, quantities are small (e.g. separated inert substances).
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MBS facilities are enclosed; all the exhaust gas is collected and consigned to treatment in
order to comply with the emission limit values of the Thirtieth Federal Immission Control

                       MBS worker tipping comminuted wastes into the density grading unit
                                        Photo: BMU/Rupert Oberhäuser

Amended Seventeenth Federal Immission Control Ordinance
The amendments to the Seventeenth Federal Immission Control Ordinance (17. BImSchV)
tightened up the standards for waste co-combustion and aligned them with those for
monocombustion (for waste incinerators and hazardous waste incinerators). The need to
separate high calorific value constituents in MBT facilities is likely to encourage industrial
operations such as cement works, power stations and other combustion facilities to
employ energy recovery. The standards for waste incineration (monocombustion) and
industrial co-combustion had to be unified in order to secure a high standard of recovery
in ecological terms.
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The amended Seventeenth Federal Immission Control Ordinance (in force
since 20 August 2003) imposes the same limits for key pollutants such as heavy
metals and dioxins on industrial co-combustion facilities as apply to waste
incinerators. Wherever technically practicable, requirements for co-combustion in
general were brought up to the level of those for monocombustion facilities. If
waste accounts for more than 60% of the heat output in cement works or 25% in
furnaces and other co-combustion facilities, or if more than 40% hazardous waste is
burned, the same strict limits must be met as apply to waste incinerators. These
limits apply unconditionally where untreated mixed waste from human settlements,
such as household waste, is burned in a co-combustion facility.

This has effectively turned incinerators into pollutant 'sinks'. On incineration, organic
constituents are reliably destroyed, and other harmful substances made inert or extracted
(by flue gas scrubbers). In terms of by-products, metals are separated out for recycling,
the slag can be reused after reprocessing, and the energy output can be used as heat and
electric power. Only small quantities of scrubber residue are left over to be disposed of as
waste, usually below ground.

                            Rügenberger Damm waste incineration plant,
                                   with slag treatment, Hamburg
                            (Photo: MVA Rugenberger Damm, Hamburg)
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6. Attempts to evade the standards applying to environmentally safe municipal
solid waste management

Although the Waste Storage Ordinance has made the requirements in the Technical
Instructions on Waste legally binding, there has been no lack of attempts to cast doubt on
them – despite their mandatory nature – or indeed to evade them on a temporary or
permanent basis. Faced with the looming deadline for compliance, waste generators and
waste management authorities who had not yet secured the treatment capacity necessary
to meet the requirements continued and intensified their search for means of evasion until
the very last minute.

Conformity with EU law
The conformity of the Waste Storage Ordinance with EU law was the subject of a case
brought by landfill operators before Koblenz Administrative Court and Administrative Appeal
Court. A landfill operators’ association that had unsuccessfully applied for an exemption to
emplace waste that had undergone only mechanical size reduction beyond 1 June 2005
pleaded that the Waste Storage Ordinance breached EU law, and specifically the Landfill
Directive, by unlawfully imposing stricter national requirements. The Administrative Court of
first instance put the case on hold while it requested guidance on various points of law from
the European Court of Justice (ECJ). In the ECJ case, the Federal German Government has
the support not just of the Land of Rhineland-Palatinate, but also of the Netherlands, Austria
and notably the European Commission itself. All the statements of position made confirm
that the German requirements comply with EU law.
On 30 November 2004, the Advocate General confirmed "without hesitation" in his speech
that the ordinance conforms with EU law. The Advocate General noted that the ordinance
can be construed as strengthening the protective aspect of the Landfill Directive under
Article 176 of the EC Treaty – with regard to both the strict criteria applied (TOC, ignition
loss) and the shortened deadlines and inclusion of commercial MSW. The Koblenz
Administrative Appeal Court had previously blocked the attempt to use the pending
preliminary decision from the ECJ to exempt landfill operators from their unconditional
obligation to meet all requirements of the German Waste Storage Ordinance. The
application of the landfill operators’ association to continue emplacing waste that had
undergone only mechanical size reduction beyond 1 June 2005 pending the ECJ decision
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was thrown out by the Koblenz Administrative Appeal Court on 4 November 2003, with the
court making specific reference to the conformity of the ordinance with EU law.
The ECJ issued its final ruling in April 2005, and this essentially followed the line taken by
the Advocate General, finding that the requirements imposed by the Waste Storage
Ordinance on the pretreatment of wastes – to the extent that these exceed the
requirements imposed by the EU Landfill Directive and must be implemented within a
shorter deadline – comply with European law as they are measures amplifying protective
effect pursuant to Article 176 of the EC Treaty. This ruling removed the final obstacles,
rendering the end of the landfilling of untreated wastes in Germany inevitable.

Licenses granted under planning law
Other landfill operators attempted to sidestep the Waste Storage Ordinance by invoking
licences granted in response to planning applications before the ordinance came into force,
which allowed them to landfill untreated waste beyond 2005. Such licences, which were
unlawful in any case under the Technical Instructions on Waste from Human Settlements in
force at the time, were automatically revoked by the statutory requirements of the Waste
Storage Ordinance. As Münster Administrative Appeal Court ruled in a number of
judgements, the requirements of the Waste Storage Ordinance directly alter the legal
position of facility operators, regardless of any licences granted to contrary effect and
without any need for planning authorities to amend their past decisions. The court of last
instance, the Federal Administrative Court, confirmed this in its decision of 3 June 2004,
thus reaffirming the direct applicability of the Waste Storage Ordinance.

Temporary landfilling
The EC Landfill Directive allows, in principle, the temporary storage of non-pretreated
wastes in landfills for a period of up to one year in the case of waste for disposal, and up to
three years in the case of waste for recovery. Temporary storage is likewise allowed in
principle under the German Landfill Ordinance and under the Fourth Federal Immission
Control Ordinance, which transpose the Landfill Directive into national law. However,
temporary storage in a landfill constitutes a material change in the way the landfill is
operated, and a separate licence must be obtained by way of a planning application subject
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to public scrutiny. Strict environmental safety requirements must be imposed on any
temporary storage of this kind. Organic constituents of domestic waste change significantly
while in long-term storage (producing severely contaminated leachate and landfill gas). This
change presents a problem when the waste is reclaimed to dispose of it in an incinerator or
MBT facility. To prevent strong odours escaping when it is reclaimed, the waste must be
intensively ventilated prior to reclamation. Reception, storage and handling areas where
contaminated water may collect must be sealed to prevent ground contamination. Finally,
the operator must also guarantee that the temporarily stored waste is disposed of by a date
set by the authorities. To ensure compliance, the authorities should require the operator to
deposit a security bond covering all the costs of reclaiming, treating and storing the waste.

Interim storage of high calorific value wastes is also possible, but is subject to weighty fire
protection requirements, imposed by the authorities, and should also require the operator to
deposit a security bond.

In the final analysis, temporary storage is therefore time- and cost-intensive. Under
certain circumstances, however, it is a viable option in practice, in order to bridge
disposal bottlenecks over the short term.

Recovery at landfills
Instances of large-scale waste ‘recovery’ at landfills, as opposed to waste disposal,
increased, with waste being used for caps, berms and profiling (shaping the landfill to
drain off surface water). In some cases, it was doubtful whether the main aim of the
measures was waste recovery or to evade the requirements of the Waste Storage
Ordinance. There were fears that this trend would pick up, as more old landfills were
closed after 1 June 2005.

Accordingly, the Federal German Government set out binding options for safe recovery of
suitable waste at surface landfills in a new ordinance featuring strict requirements regarding
the waste permitted for each recovery method. This ordinance was passed by the Bundesrat
on 29 April 2005 and entered into force on 1 September 2005.

The requirements for the use of waste in landfill surface profiling are of particular
relevance. The Federal Environment Ministry has applied strict criteria here, to ensure
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as at: 1 September 2006

conformity with EU law, uphold high standards of recovery and prevent major upheavals in
the waste management industry. The ordinance is exhaustive with regard to the choice of
recovery options, although it does leave the way open for other options to apply on a case
by case basis.

Waste exports

Statutory framework
Waste exports come under the EU’s Waste Shipment Regulation, which applies
with direct effect without any need for national implementing legislation. This
Regulation distinguishes between waste for disposal and waste for recovery. If
untreated mixed waste from human settlements is exported, whether for disposal or
for recovery, the destination state must be notified, and approval obtained from the
competent authorities in both the country of destination and the country of origin.
Export applications can be refused more easily with waste for disposal than with
waste for recovery.

The Waste Shipment Regulation was amended in 2005/6. The amended Regulation applies
from 12 July 2007 onwards. It gives the competent authorities greater powers to prohibit
exports of mixed waste from private households. This ensures that domestic waste is
normally disposed of in the country where it arises.

Future exports of waste for recovery cannot be ruled out. The competent authorities will
have to take steps to prevent the practice of recovering only minor quantities and dumping
the majority in cheap landfills. The focus here is on the new EU member states in view of
their low waste management standards and the correspondingly low disposal fees they are
expected to charge.

At Germany’s initiative, the EU and the then accession states agreed transitional
provisions which at least extend the powers of enforcement agencies to counter
certain unwanted waste exports.

The Federal Environment Ministry has published a German-language guide on waste
management and EU enlargement, entitled ‘Abfallwirtschaft und EU-Erweiterung’. Further
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information, including on EU enlargement and its effects on waste management, is available
from the ministry website,

7. Municipal solid waste arisings and treatment capacities
   Waste quantities

The total level of municipal solid waste (MSW) arisings in Germany has changed little since
1990. Of the total waste arisings, about 340 million t/a, arisings of municipal solid wastes
made up approximately 45.5 million t, of which about 43 million t were domestic wastes
(including commercial wastes similar to domestic waste). MSW recovery and recycling have
increased significantly, however, especially as regards separately collected domestic waste

                          Source: IFEU -Institute, Federal Environment Agency (UBA) 2006
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as at: 1 September 2006

Getting the most out of it:
Waste as resource
Papier = Paper
Metalle = Metals
Glas = Glass
Bioabfall = Organic waste
Textilien, Leder, Gummi und Verbundstoffe = Textiles, leather, rubber and composites
Verpackungen inkl. Kunststoff = Packagings incl. plastics
Windeln = Nappies
Sperrmüll = Bulky waste
Rest (Feinmüll, mineralische Abfälle, Sonstige) = Others (fine refuse, mineral wastes,
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as at: 1 September 2006

According to data from the Federal Environment Agency, the proportion of recoverable
MSW, which was less than 15% in 1990, had risen to more than 50% by 2001. In 2004,
MWS recovery rates rose still further, to approximately 57%. Particularly high recovery
rates, ranging from 60 to over 90%, were achieved through the separate collection of
glass, paper, cardboard, organic wastes and lightweight packaging.

                          Source: IFEU-Institut, Federal Environment Agency (UBA) 2006
It works:
Resource recovery from residual waste boosted by 18 million tonnes
Bioabfall = Organic waste
Papier = Paper
Glas = Glass
Verpackungen = Packaging
Mio. = million

Advances in sorting technology will make it possible to reclaim additional recoverables from
residual waste in future. Recovery of waste wood has also increased over the last few
years, and will continue rising as a consequence of the Waste Wood Ordinance
(Altholzverordnung, AltholzV), the Commercial Wastes Ordinance
(Gewerbeabfallverordnung, GEWAbfV) and its requirement to keep commercial waste
separate and comply with recovery quotas for commercial operations, and the Renewable
Energy Sources Act (Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz, GEG) promoting energy generation from
waste wood.
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as at: 1 September 2006

From the above figures, however, it is clear that more than 40% of municipal solid waste
will remain for disposal in an environmentally safe fashion.

Table 1: MSW arisings 2000 – 2004
                                                   2000     2001     2002     2003     2004
Waste arisings (1000 t)

Municipal solid waste (MSW)                       50 132   49 397   52 772   49 622   48 433
of which
Total domestic waste                              37 667   36 285   46 660   43 931   43 149
of which
Household waste and commercial wastes similar
to domestic waste collected by public waste
management authorities                            18 030   16 466   17 090   15 824   15 558
Bulky waste                                        2 568   2 676     2 933    2 608   2 589
Compostable wastes collected in organic waste      3 531   3 753     3 465    3 447   3 661
Biodegradable garden and park wastes                 -        -      4 163    3 845   4 172
Other fractions collected separately –            13 491   13 364   18 769   17 944   16 899
glass, paper, cardboard, lightweight packaging,
electronic appliances, others
Total other MSW                                   12 465   13 112   6 112    5 691     5 284
of which
Commercial wastes similar to domestic waste
which are not collected by public waste
management authorities (without household and     7 335    8 109    5 092    4 718     4 143
bulky wastes)
Garden and park wastes                            4 380    4 239     216      210       316
Sweepings                                          680      694      727      669       710
Market wastes                                       71      71        76       83       96

Current state of implementation of the Waste Storage Ordinance
Attempts to predict precisely how much waste would in fact need to be treated from 1
June 2005 onwards have faced many difficulties in recent years. Amounts of household
and bulky waste were not so difficult to forecast, as fairly reliable estimates made by the
Länder authorities were available. More difficult were estimates of the quantities of wastes
which commercial waste generators would consign to public waste management
authorities, and the quantities of residues from waste treatment and sorting facilities –
particularly with regard to developments in these quantities from 1 June 2005 onwards.
The Working Group on Waste (Bund/Länder-Arbeitsgemeinschaft Abfall, LAGA), a joint
initiative of the Länder and federal authorities, had last updated the waste arisings data by
conducting a survey among the Länder on 31 August 2004 as part of its regular reporting
to the Conference of German Environment Ministers (UMK). LAGA reported approximately
24.5 million t/a of residual MSW consigned to waste management authorities and
requiring treatment. That figure included 16.2 million t from mixed domestic waste (‘grey
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bin’) including bulky waste, 4.15 million t of commercial waste consigned to the authorities
for disposal and a further 4.15 million t from waste treatment and sorting facilities (Table
2). Table 3 breaks the total down according to the individual Länder. The various
uncertainties attached to these figures notwithstanding, they present an important basis
on which to plan necessary treatment capacities in the Länder.
The most difficult aspect of these forecasts continues to be estimating the quantities of
commercial wastes not consigned to public waste management authorities. In the past,
these were generally ‘recovered’ by emplacement in low-cost landfills. After 1 June 2005,
these wastes re-emerged, placing greater pressure on the treatment facilities operated by
both public waste management authorities and private-sector management companies.
Estimates produced by the Prognos AG institute, the Federation of the German Waste
Management Industry (BDE) and the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) agreed that
these wastes would total at least 5 million t. This implies that the total quantity of waste
requiring treatment each year was to rise from 1 June 2005 onwards to at least 29.5
million t. More recent estimates, produced after 1 June 2005, even considered that up to 7
million t of additional commercial waste arisings were possible. The problems associated
with the lack of treatment facilities for such quantities were further exacerbated by the
fact that the types and composition of these wastes were not sufficiently well known. Thus
the facility planning process was unable to assess with sufficient accuracy the need for
and type of treatment of these wastes (sorting, thermal, mechanical-biological?).

Table 2: Estimated waste arisings from 1 June 2005 onwards
 Mixed domestic waste (‘grey bin’) and bulky waste     16,210,470 Mg/a
 Commercial waste for disposal                         4,160,940 Mg/a
 Screening residues and contraries from composting     444,660 Mg/a
 facilities etc.
 Screening residues and contraries from sorting        1,292,820 Mg/a
 High calorific value fractions from MBT facilities    2,397,300 Mg/a
 Total quantity requiring disposal                     24,506,190 Mg/a
 Commercial wastes previously landfilled (Prognos)     min. 5,000,000 Mg/a
 Sum total                                             29,506,190 Mg/a
(LAGA survey of 31 August 2004)

Table 3: Waste arisings and treatment capacity for 2005
         (excluding co-combustion capacity)
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Länder                                            Arisings in       Available +       Definite
                                                    2005              planned        available
                                                   (Mg/a)         incinerator and incinerator and
                                                                   MBT capacity    MGT capacity
                                                                      (Mg/a)          (Mg/a)
Baden-Württemberg                      BW         2,175,840          2,315,100                2,176,100
Bavaria                                BY         2,360,000          2,810,000                2,810,000
Berlin                                 BE         1,159,000          1,014,000                 854,000
Brandenburg                            BB         1,105,000           845,000                  705,000
Bremen                                 HB          316,000            608,000                  608,000
Hamburg                                HH          660,000            755,000                  755,000
Hesse                                  HE         1,840,810          1,598,000                1,532,000
Lower Saxony                           NI         2,593,360          2,916,400                2,579,400
Mecklenburg-Lower                      MV          681,500            736,000                  570,000
North Rhine-Westphalia                 NW         6,154,000          6,140,000                6,140,000
Rhineland-Palatinate                   RP         1,071,300          1,112,000                 929,000
Saarland                               SL          325,000            342,000                  312,000
Saxony                                 SN         1,633,880          1,130,000                 825,000
Saxony-Anhalt                          ST          733,000           1,183,000                 548,000
Schleswig-Holstein                     SH         1,009,000           871,000                  871,000
Thuringia                              TH          688,500            699,000                  374,000
Total                                            24,506,190       25,044,500              22,588,500
(LAGA 31 August 2004)

Pretreatment capacities available, planned and realized
The above-mentioned LAGA survey indicated that the waste arisings set out in Section 3.1
would meet a secure overall treatment capacity totalling some 25 million t on 1 June 2005.
Of this, incineration was to provide 16.5 million t, mechanical-biological treatment
approximately 6.25 million t and co-combustion approximately 2.4 million t. The LAGA
survey identified further planned capacity amounting to some 3.7 million t (Table 2) for
the years to 2007. These figures suggested that a total treatment capacity of some 28.6
million t would be available by 2007, in 72 incinerators and 66 MBT facilities. This means
that – in theory – a shortfall of only about 1 million t would have remained. When
comparing these figures with the estimated waste arisings, it should be noted that the
various treatment processes are only suitable for certain types of wastes.

         Mechanical-biological                                       Waste incineration

         Planned facilities (total):        66                  Planned facilities (total):       72
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         Planned capacity:     7.1 million t         Planned capacity:     17.9 million t
         Available capacity:   5.5 million t         Available capacity:   16.3 million t

In reality, however, the situation is rather different. The planned incinerator capacity was
completed on schedule. For various reasons, however, the completion of several MBT and
MBS facilities was delayed, with the result that on 31 December 2005 the available MBT
capacity was about 1.2 million t smaller than planned. In the meantime, further MBT
capacity has been completed and has commenced trial operation, so that total MBT
capacity now runs to approx. 5.5 million t. Nonetheless, several of these facilities are
experiencing difficulties in reaching their rated capacity in continuous operation. Despite
these problems, it is currently expected that, with the exception of a small number of
facilities, the planned MBT capacity will indeed be on stream by 2007 at the latest.
However, in the case of co-combustion capacity, it is now becoming apparent that the
capacity growth originally forecast – especially in coal-fired power plants but also in the
cement industry – has not been achieved, and will not develop as planned to 2007. This is
due in particular to a hesitance among the operators of coal-fired power plants to use the
high calorific value constituents of municipal solid waste. With a few exceptions, the
potentially large capacities are encountering relatively small input quantities. Only 3 power
plants (Jänschwalde, Werne, Westfalen) plan to use approximately 800,000 t of substitute
fuels at present. A further power plant (Weisweiler) is considering using 400,000 t, but
there are some doubts about this.

Difficulties with implementation
A simple comparison with the data compiled by LAGA highlights the underlying problem,
which has been confirmed since 1 June 2005. The public sector waste management
authorities have largely met their commitments, and have succeeded in establishing the
facilities needed to treat the wastes consigned to them – in some cases in partnership with
private-sector waste management operators. The management of household and bulky
wastes and of wastes consigned to municipal waste management authorities is thus
secure beyond 1 June 2005. Yet for commercial wastes, and also in the management of
high calorific value wastes from MBT facilities, there are bottlenecks. The shortfall varies
from region to region, and is considerable in some cases. Besides a lack of sorting and
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recycling facilities, there is a particular shortfall of thermal treatment and recovery

Managing domestic wastes
The management of wastes from households by means of incinerators and MBT facilities is
largely secure. Incinerators use their capacities to dispose of domestic waste in particular.
Where facilities, notably MBT plants, have not been constructed on schedule or have
experienced technical problems in the operation of new facilities, the wastes are disposed
of in other facilities where capacity is available, or are consigned to interim repositories,
usually landfills. Interim storage is subject to strict standards, notably with regard to fire
protection, and is permissible for a maximum of one year. After that period, the wastes
must be removed and consigned to treatment in accordance with the applicable rules and
standards. In most cases, the authorizing authorities require a financial security bond for
such interim storage, as a means of preventing wastes being ‘forgotten’. In order to
reduce the quantities of household wastes requiring treatment, many municipal authorities
have adopted or are considering more far-reaching measures to separate/sort and recycle
bulky waste, organic waste and other types. Where domestic wastes were previously
landfilled cheaply and are now treated in modern facilities, waste fees increase. In other
regions, the full capacity utilization of incineration plants in their catchment area has even
caused fees to drop.

Placing the high calorific value constituents separated in MBT facilities has proved difficult.
One problem is that these wastes are now competing with commercial high calorific value
wastes, some of which are of better quality. A second issue is that capacity for energy
recovery from high calorific value wastes is currently insufficient across Germany as a
whole. The result is that these wastes are consigned to storage – either directly on the
site of the MBT facilities, or in specially permitted interim repositories. They can stay in
storage for up to 3 years, and in some cases even longer.
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Managing commercial wastes
In the sphere of commercial wastes, the quantities being consigned to treatment facilities
operated by public sector waste management authorities and private sector operators
alike has risen sharply since 1 June 2005. No robust quantitative data are yet available.
These wastes were previously disposed of ‘cheaply’ on landfills (falsely declared as waste
for recovery), and have therefore side-stepped the forward planning of necessary
pretreatment capacities – in terms of both the type of pretreatment and the capacities
required. The result of this is now a lack of pretreatment facilities. A further factor is that
former sorting and recycling facilities have been closed in recent years due to a lack of
wastes (because of the false declaration practice) and are now no longer in operation.
Large quantities of commercial waste are now knocking at the gates of the available
pretreatment facilities, yet these are unable to cope with such large amounts. Wastes are
therefore piling up on waste generators’ premises and in the storage compounds of the
sorting facilities. The treatment and recovery options for sorted fractions and also for
sorting residues are insufficient in many cases. To prevent an emergency situation arising,
interim storage facilities have been approved and set up in many Länder, both for
unsorted commercial wastes and for sorted fractions and sorting residues. These storage
sites present considerable risks; there are a growing number of fires. Moreover,
applications for waste exports are on the rise. In individual cases, illegal exports have
been made to the Czech Republic.
One result of the pretreatment capacity bottleneck is that disposal prices for commercial
wastes have rocketed one hundred to several hundred percent. Existing recovery and
disposal contracts are sometimes terminated, and new ones offered at less favourable
terms. Waste incineration plants, and also MBT facilities, are refusing commercial wastes
which are unsorted or are mixed with other types of waste in a manner which is not
permitted, and are only accepting pre-sorted commercial wastes – or none at all.
Recovery of high calorific value commercial wastes, in particular, is not guaranteed
throughout the country at present, and is not viable without interim storage. Further
problems arise in the management of ‘marginal’ wastes, such as fire wastes or certain
mineral wastes with low organic material content.
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Interim storage

In preparation for its 86th general assembly in March 2006, LAGA, acting on the initiative
of the Federal Environment Ministry, conducted a survey among the Länder of the
problems associated with the interim storage of wastes. All 16 Länder responded, in
different degrees of detail. This survey shows permitted interim storage capacities to be in
the order of 2.2 – 2.6 million t. Taking into account all inadequacies in data comparability,
it can be assumed that these storage facilities currently hold approx. 1 – 1.5 million t of
insufficiently treated wastes (domestic and commercial) and high calorific value wastes
from households and commerce. These are stored on landfills or at treatment facilities –
the nature of the relevant permission varies – some with and some without security bonds
(the latter in the case of public sector waste management authorities). None of the Länder
reports a state of emergency. But the reports do not give the full picture: in addition to
these storage sites, there are further operational storage areas at the treatment facilities.
These storage areas are reported to be largely full, and in some instances the wastes
stored there exceed the volumes permitted, as it is difficult to move them on to the
treatment facilities. LAGA regularly monitors the development of interim storage
capacities. Once further treatment capacities have been completed, storage sites for
untreated domestic waste are being cleared again in some cases; they can therefore be
expected to present a problem only in the short term. In contrast, interim storage of high
calorific value wastes must be expected to rise.

Managing high calorific value wastes
Increasing volumes of heterogeneous high calorific value wastes have arisen since 1 June
2005, due to the ban on landfilling. These wastes come from mechanical-biological
treatment and the stabilization of residual wastes, bulky wastes and commercial wastes.
Given a current overall installed MBT capacity of approx. 5 million t, it can be assumed
that the medium-calorific value wastes sorted out from these facilities, including dry
stabilized material, come to at least 2.5 million t, with an average calorific value of 16
MJ/t. In addition to these are waste fractions from commerce and industry, arising either
directly or after treatment in sorting facilities: such medium-calorific wastes, which are
also heterogeneous, total at least 2.5 to 3 million t. Further single-fraction high calorific
value wastes arise in industry and commerce.
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The homogeneous wastes specific to certain types of production, such as used tyres,
waste oil, animal meal, fats, plastics etc., with calorific values in excess of 20 MJ/t, have
long-standing, well established disposal routes in power plants and cement works. No such
established routes exist for medium-calorific fractions of household and commercial
wastes. The operators of coal-fired power plants, in particular, take a critical view of the
use of such wastes. The economic benefits are evidently outweighed by doubts concerning
reliable quality (e.g. contaminant content, composition, homogeneity and combustion
behaviour) and the long-term security of supplies. Operators fear, among other things,
boiler scaling, high-temperature chlorine corrosion and negative impacts upon the
recyclability of post-combustion residues, which could impair the principal function of
power plants, namely to generate electricity. Operators also expect acceptance problems if
they use wastes. As a result, MSW-based substitute fuels are currently only used at a few
sites, mainly in lignite-fired power plants. Cost benefits and improved emissions trading
options evidently provide insufficient benefit to counter these fears. Placing the high
calorific value wastes separated in MBT facilities presents particular problems. Potential
co-combustors are critical above all of the insufficient or unstable quality of these wastes.
Furthermore, growing amounts of – clearly better-quality – substitute fuels from the
commercial sector are available on the market.

Possible solutions
The following provides a list (not exhaustive) of measures which could potentially ease the
situation over the short to medium term:

-   Gaining a clear picture of implementation problems and creating

    This is the task of the Länder authorities, together with the municipal and private
    waste management sectors and the industry federations. Formalized talks, round
    tables, expert panels and other such tools are suited to achieving this goal, and are in
    place in almost all Länder. As a basis for cross-Länder cooperation, the continuous
    monitoring conducted by LAGA among the Länder on the waste management situation
    continues to prove useful.
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-   Making use of existing treatment capacities and expanding these where
    appropriate; completing treatment facilities under construction as soon as

    This is a matter for the municipal and private waste management sector. Work is in

-   Creating new incinerator capacity

    The key problem at present is that the capacity of incinerators – which mainly handle
    wastes consigned to public-sector waste management authorities, especially
    household wastes, as they were designed to – is insufficient for the disposal of
    commercial waste. New capacity must be created for this purpose. ITAD e.V. takes
    the view that it will be possible, relatively soon, to expand incinerator capacities by 1
    to 2 million tonnes by constructing new facilities and enlarging existing ones. The
    precondition to this, however, is the existence of longer-term contractual
    commitments ensuring that these facilities’ capacity is utilized. Examples include the
    Leuna II, Herten II and Staßfurt projects, and projects planned by BKB.

-   Boosting segregation, sorting and materials recovery

    In order to reduce the quantities of residual wastes needing treatment, it is essential
    that public sector waste management authorities expand the collection of organic
    wastes yet further (only 50% of households in Germany currently participate in
    collection systems). As regards bulky waste, there is scope for more intense
    processing or segregation at source. Some municipalities have started to collect waste
    wood separately from bulky wastes, and to process bulky wastes. The fractions
    separated should be consigned primarily to materials recovery, waste wood to
    biomass-fired power plants.
    The practice of consigning wastes to landfills under the pretext of recovery, pursued
    for many years, has meant the potential of commercial wastes as a secondary
    resource being neglected. By boosting sorting capacities, segregating wastes better at
    source and consigning them to (materials) recovery beyond the public sector waste
    management infrastructure, the quantities of commercial wastes that must ultimately
    be treated can be reduced significantly. The Commercial Wastes Ordinance must
    therefore be implemented strictly. Only pre-sorted commercial wastes should be
2006 Municipal Solid Waste Management Report                                 Page 35 of 47
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    delivered to incineration plants. Greater rates of materials recovery can be achieved
    by improving the quality of the secondary resources separated.

-   Making greater use of waste-to-energy options
    It remains uncertain to what extent co-combustion of high calorific value wastes can
    be expanded, notably in lignite-fired power plants. More intense processing, combined
    with improved quality of high calorific value wastes, might possibly generate greater
    enthusiasm among power plant operators. Experts, however, see the future role of
    power plants as being rather in the co-combustion of municipal sewage sludge. Within
    a setting characterized by rising fuel and energy costs, the trend at present is rather
    towards the construction of distributed combined heat and power (CHP) facilities for
    high calorific value wastes at specific industrial sites. Such projects can make
    particularly effective use of the electrical and thermal energy that such facilities
    generate. Projects totalling significantly more than 4 million t capacity are currently
    being implemented or planned. It is not yet certain how many of these projects, which
    are in differing stages of planning, permitting and implementation, will actually be
    completed. The cement industry is planning to increase its use of substitute fuels
    significantly, up by 1.4 million t/a compared to 2004. It is not known, however,
    whether this quantity will include high calorific municipal solid wastes, and if so how

    -    Interim storage remains indispensable in many cases
    In many Länder, the lack of sufficient treatment and recycling capacity is currently
    making the interim storage of domestic waste, unsorted commercial waste and
    separated high calorific value wastes indispensable. The Länder authorities need to
    take great care that such interim repositories are not misused to circumvent the
    Waste Storage Ordinance. To prevent this happening, such repositories should only be
    approved under strict conditions and with a financial security bond. Upon completion
    of further treatment capacities, interim storage of untreated domestic waste should
    soon become an option only allowed for the short term or in the event of
    unanticipated facility outages. Interim storage of high calorific value wastes, in
    contrast, will presumably continue to be indispensable for a lengthier period. It will
    take substantially longer to clear out the storage sites and consign the wastes they
2006 Municipal Solid Waste Management Report                                 Page 36 of 47
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    contain to proper disposal.

-   Waste exports
    Exports of wastes for recovery are possible as long as European and national
    standards are complied with, and present an option to reduce the present disposal
    bottleneck, particularly for high calorific value wastes. Notifications for the export of
    high calorific value wastes are currently being assessed in several Länder.

-   Opening biomass-fired power plants
    Many are calling for biomass-fired power plants to be opened to energy recovery from
    high calorific value wastes. However, the provisions of the German Renewable Energy
    Sources Act – notably the principle of exclusive use of energy sources specified under
    the Act – state that using high calorific value wastes would cause such facilities to lose
    the preferential status enjoyed under the Act. The provisions of the Act are due to be
    reviewed in 2007. It is impossible to forecast at present to what extent that review
    could lead to the principle of exclusive use being withdrawn. A further point is that
    levels of capacity utilization of the biomass-fired power plants currently in operation
    are reported to have improved considerably, so that even if these facilities were
    opened to high calorific value wastes it cannot be expected that any larger quantities
    would be taken.

-   Resolution by the Conference of German Environment Ministers (UMK)
    The 66th meeting of the Conference of German Environment Ministers adopted a
    resolution on 23/24 May 2006 which:
    •    rejects changes to the classification criteria for waste storage,
    •    calls for strict technological and statutory standards to be applied to the
         permitting of interim repositories,

    •    urges waste generators and the waste management industry to engage in single-
         fraction waste segregation and more intense processing in order to enhance
         options for materials and energy recovery, and

    •    appeals to the waste management and energy industries to set up further
         facilities as quickly as possible.

    The conference further requested LAGA to continue to monitor the waste
    management situation.
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The waste management situation in Germany is constrained in various ways that differ
from region to region. One cannot, however, speak of an emergency. Management of
domestic and bulky waste is largely assured.
More serious problems arise in the management of commercial wastes; these will persist
for some time. To ease the situation, greater efforts need to be made to segregate wastes
at source, to sort them, and, in particular, to complete, expand and newly establish
treatment and recovery facilities. Until such facilities are completed, wastes will need to be
consigned to interim storage and treatment and recovery capacities may need to be
sought abroad.
One thing, however, is certain: There is no turning back. Acting in unison, those
responsible in the federal and Länder authorities, in the municipal and private-sector
waste management industry and in the industry federations will be able to master the
difficult waste management situation in Germany.
2006 Municipal Solid Waste Management Report                                         Page 38 of 47
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8. Waste management for climate change mitigation
Sustainable waste management conserves resources and mitigates climate change:

                                         (Photo: getty Images)

Scientific findings in recent years make clear that implementing the Waste Storage
Ordinance not only reduces soil and water contamination as a result of waste being treated
before landfilling, but also contributes significantly to resource conservation and hence to
climate change mitigation through exploitation of the energy potential in waste and the
attendant substitution of primary fuels.

                      Source: IFEU-Institut, Federal Environment Agency (UBA) 2006

Contributing to resource conservation:
Recovery and combustion save 1% of fossil energy consumption in Germany
Einsparung durch stoffliche Verwertung = Savings through materials recovery
Einsparung durch Verbrennung = Savings through combustion
Haushaltsabfälle = Household wastes
in Mio. Gigajoule = in millions of gigajoules
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Treatment of waste before emplacement in landfills significantly and directly reduces
landfill-related methane emissions. Waste treatment is thus already earning CO2 credits on
a large scale and is helping to attain the ambitious national greenhouse gas emissions
reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol.

According to calculations by the Federal Environment Agency, landfill-related methane
emissions will have fallen by about two-thirds from at least 1.5 million t in 1990 to 0.5
million t in 2004. This represents a reduction by about 21 million t CO2 equivalent, which
fulfils the target, set in the National Climate Protection Programme of October 2000, of
reducing landfill methane emissions to about 0.5 million t by 2005. This reduction is one-
fifth of the reduction achieved by industry and the energy sector between 1990 and 2003.
This achievement was brought about by reducing the quantity of biodegradable waste
placed in landfills, increasing levels of thermal treatment in incinerators prior to landfilling,
and collecting almost all landfill gas in accordance with the Technical Instructions on Waste
and the Waste Storage Ordinance.

Discontinuing landfill emplacement of untreated biodegradable waste on 1 June
2005 will lead to a further reduction in landfill methane emissions of 0.1 million t by
2008 and 0.4 million t by 2012, representing 2.1 and 8.4 million t of CO2 equivalent
respectively. This is about 75% of the reduction yet to be attained for the remaining
Kyoto gases by 2012. It also represents a reduction of more than 90% in landfill
methane emissions in Germany since 1990.
2006 Municipal Solid Waste Management Report                                    Page 40 of 47
as at: 1 September 2006

                               Source: Federal Environment Agency (UBA)

Landfill methane emissions in Germany
Methane (million t)

Pretreatment itself contributes to climate change mitigation – as some 50% of municipal
solid waste is of biogenic origin, its use in waste-to-energy processes is climate-neutral.
Moreover, efficient energy recovery from other high calorific value organic waste
constituents can contribute further to substituting fossil fuels. Possibilities include direct
firing of wastes in incinerators and co-combustion of high calorific value waste that has
either been separately collected or separated out in MBT facilities. The Federal Environment
Agency calculates that in addition to the effects of the landfill ban for biodegradable waste,
at least another 3.7 million t CO2 per year can be saved through waste-to-energy

This comprises about 2.2 million t from co-combustion of high calorific value waste
constituents as a substitute fuel in industrial facilities and power plants, plus about 1.5
million t from waste incinerator combustion of some 3 million t of waste that would
previously have been placed in landfills. The anticipated CO2 emissions reduction effect
delivered by co-combustion is equivalent to about 22% of the 10 million t CO2 emissions
which must yet be saved by the energy sector and industry under the emissions trading
scheme by 2012. This emissions reduction effect through combustion in waste incinerators
2006 Municipal Solid Waste Management Report                                           Page 41 of 47
as at: 1 September 2006

adds up to a 17% share of the further CO2 reduction that yet needs to be achieved by
2012 by the other sectors – residential, commercial, transport and others.

                        Source: IFEU-Institut, Federal Environment Agency (UBA) 2006

Energy efficiency through materials recovery:
Enough energy savings to keep a major city going
Entspricht dem Energieverbrauch von 440,000 Personen = Equivalent to energy
requirements of 440,000 people
Einsparung durch = Savings from:
Metalschrott = Metal scrap
Altglas = Waste glass
Altpapier = Waste paper
Leichtverpackungen = Lightweight packagings
in 1000 Gigajoule = in 1000 gigajoules
Energieeinsparung = Energy savings
Wertstoffe = Secondary resources

9. Full recovery of municipal solid waste by 2020

1 June 2005 saw the end of the landfilling of untreated biodegradable wastes, ushering in a
new era of MSW management in Germany. That date, however, while a turning point, did
not mark the end of all development in waste management. The sector is far from
exhausting its potential for change. In particular there is scope for further developing such
potential at the interfaces with other areas such as product and production policy,
chemicals policy, and resource and climate protection policy.
2006 Municipal Solid Waste Management Report                                Page 42 of 47
as at: 1 September 2006

In 1999, the Federal Environment Ministry formulated its waste management objective for
2020 as follows:

                  “By 2020 at the latest, waste treatment technologies
          should be so advanced and ubiquitously available that all waste from
            human settlements in Germany can be fully and environmentally
                                    safely recovered.”

klassische Abfallhierarchie = Classic waste management hierarchy
Vermeidung = Avoidance
Verwertung = Recovery
Beseitigung (Deponierung) = Disposal (landfill)
Abfallhierarchie nach Ziel 2020 = Waste management hierarchy under 2020 objective

This entails the termination of above-ground landfilling of recoverable municipal solid

A first important step towards this goal is to further reduce the quantity and harmfulness of
waste requiring treatment by stepping up waste avoidance in terms of both quantity and
quality. Recycling must be further expanded, with reuse and materials recovery the
preferred alternatives. The tried and tested policy instrument of producer responsibility – a
cornerstone of modern waste management – will be retained and further refined. Making
producers and vendors responsible for dealing with waste helps to close material cycles
and fosters recycling technologies. A broad range of issues needs to be considered, such

-     market-based instruments to promote waste avoidance and recovery,
-     possible use of a materials-oriented approach supplementing the product-oriented
-     separate collection of waste fractions and sorting of domestic waste.
2006 Municipal Solid Waste Management Report                               Page 43 of 47
as at: 1 September 2006

The list could go on. The Federal Environment Ministry and Federal Environment Agency will
be carefully examining these and other options. There is no need for hasty decisions.

Further stepping up MSW avoidance and especially its recovery will cause the standards
applied to waste treatment facilities to change, though this will take place on a long
enough timescale to allow adjustment by all stakeholders.

Treatment technologies must be further refined until they produce waste or
materials that allow recovery quality and quantities to be maximized and make a
meaningful contribution to resource conservation.

Our national rules and regulations are increasingly determined by European law. Germany’s
waste management strategy will need to be in line with the European Waste Strategy set
forth in the Sixth Environmental Action Programme. The Federal Environment Ministry’s
strategic objectives need to dovetail with the European strategy on recycling, recovery and
resource conservation.
2006 Municipal Solid Waste Management Report                            Page 44 of 47
as at: 1 September 2006

Annex to the 2006 Municipal Solid Waste Management Report

             Source: Federal Environment Agency (UBA)

MSW treatment facilities available for implementation of the Waste Storage Ordinance
Mechanical, biological and physical waste treatment facilities
Waste incineration plants
2006 Municipal Solid Waste Management Report   Page 45 of 47
as at: 1 September 2006

Source: Federal Environment Agency (UBA)
2006 Municipal Solid Waste Management Report                                                                     Page 46 of 47
as at: 1 September 2006

                    Mechanical, biological and physical waste treatment facilities
MA:              Mechanical treatment facility

MBA:             Mechanical-biological treatment facility
MBS:             Mechanical-biological stabilization facility (stabilization through biological drying)
MPS: Mechanical-physical stabilization facility (stabilization through thermal drying)

                                                     Capacity                                                            Capacity
    No.   Land                Facility                               No.    Land                      Facility
                                                      Mg/a                                                                Mg/a
1         BW         MBA      Buchen                     151.000   34        NI      MBA     Deiderode                      133.000
2         BW         MBA      Kahlenberg                 100.000   35        NI      MBA     Schaumburg                      70.000
3         BW         MBA      Heilbronn                   88.000     36      NI      MBA     Bad Bentheim                    65.000
4         BW          MA      Heilbronn                  200.000    37       NI      MBS     Osnabrück                       90.000
5         BW          MA      Ostalbkreis                100.000   38        NI      MBA     Aurich                          71.400
6         BW          MA      Mannheim                    70.000   39        NI      MBA     Mansie                          50.000
    7     BW          MA      Mannheim                    30.000   40        NI      MBA     Oldenburg                       34.000
8         BY         MBA      Erbenschwang                16.000   41        NI      MBA     Pennigbüttel                    60.000
9         BE         MPS      Reinickendorf              160.000   42        NW      MBA     Borken                         115.000
10        BE         MPS      Pankow                     160.000   43        NW      MBA     Minden                         100.000
11        BB         MBA      Vorketzin                  180.000   44        NW      MBA     Münster                        100.000
12        BB         MBA      Nauen                       50.000    45       NW      MBA     Enningerloh                    100.000
13        BB         MBA      Schöneiche                 180.000   46        NW       MA     Bochum                         200.000
14        BB         MBA      Freienhufen                 50.000    47       NW       MA     Neuss                          160.000
15                   MBS                                           48        NW       MA     Viersen                        150.000
          BB                  Niederlehme                150.000
16        BB         MBA      Lübben                      30.000    49       RP      MBS     Rennerod                       155.000
17                                                                 50        RP      MBS     Mertesdorf                     220.000
          BB          MA      Frankfurt/Oder              24.000
18        BB          MA      Schöneiche                  75.000    51       RP      MBA     Linkenbach                      90.000
19                                                                 52        RP      MBA     Singhofen                      122.000
          BB          MA      Brandenburg                100.000
20                                                                 52        RP      MBA     Kapiteltal                      35.000
          BB          MA      Wilmersdorf                100.000
                                                                   54        SN      MBS     Dresden                         85.000
    21    HB          MA      Bremen                      75.000
                                                                   55        SN      MBS     Gröbern                        140.000
 22       HE         MBA      Echzell                     45.000
23                   MBS                                           56        SN      MPS     Chemnitz                       150.000
          HE                  Aßlar                      140.000
24                   MBS                                           57        SN       MA     Zwickau                         45.000
          HE                  Meckbach                   200.000
25                   MBA                                           58        SN      MBA     Cröbern                        300.000
          HE                  Flechtdorf                  34.000
26                   MBA                                           59        SN      MBS     Oelsnitz                        65.000
          MV                  Rosenow                    190.000
27                   MBA                                           60        ST       MA     Sangerhausen                    40.000
          MV                  Ihlenberg                  150.000
28                   MBA                                           61        ST      MBA     Gardelegen                      25.000
          MV                  Stralsund                   70.000
    29    MV         MBA      Rostock                    110.000   62        SH      MBA     Lübeck                         120.000
    30     NI        MBA      Bassum                     115.000   63        SH      MBA     Neumünster                     200.000
    31     NI        MBA      Lüneburg                   120.000   64        TH       MA     Nordhausen*)                    55.000
    32     NI        MBA      Wiefels                    115.000   65        TH      MBA     Erfurt                          90.000
    33     NI        MBA      Lahe                       200.000   66        TH      MBA     Pößneck                         85.000
Source: Federal Environment Agency (UBA)                             Total treatment capacity                               7.098.400
2006 municipal solid waste management report   Page 47 of 47
as at: 1 September 2006

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