Bureaucracy makes recycling difficult. This is becoming increasingly apparent in many parts of Europe. The Miller-Guttenbrunn Group has been trying to transport e-scrap materials from Austria to another site it owns in Bavaria for three years. Sadly they have received little cooperation from German legislators.
Muller-Guttenbrunn Group (MGG) processes a total of 850,000 tonnes of waste every year. Some 100,000 tonnes of this volume represents metal and plastic from discarded electronics. Furthermore, the recycler saves around one million barrels of crude oil compared to the production of new metals and plastics. The recycled plastics can be used to create new electronics as they are compliant with the EU’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) legislation. Similarly the company is also compliant with Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) standards.
MGG is looking to transport the e-scrap material 250 kilometres from a facility in Amstetten to Steinach. The problem for the local legislators is that they cannot agree on which e-scrap rules and regulations apply. There are different standards for waste in practically every German county. Waste legislation also changes frequently. Hence people don’t make decisions for fear of making a mistake.
Fast Track Notifications
MGG is fighting the indecision and has been lobbying for a European solution. The company has created ‘Fast Track Notifications’.
Bascially the proposed solution allows for compliant recycling companies to register their facilities with the authorities in advance as pre-consented facilities. As a result notification requests for each waste shipment are processed much faster.
Such a solution would lessen bureaucracy. Certainly, this would be an important step forward to promote both recycling and the use of secondary raw materials in Europe.
Recycal has noted the problems to the ‘Australian Recycling Industry’ caused by unscrupulous operators who have endangered the environment with poor management and operational practices. Increasing fire risk has meant councils and the EPA is investigating strengthening the laws relating to recycling. While Recycal supports these new initiatives they hope any significant changes to the law are done in consultation with the industry, and that bureaucracy and red tape is kept to a minimum.