The Eurits charter
Eurits was established to promote the safe, legal and responsible high temperature incineration and treatment of special waste, including hazardous and other dangerous wastes. [The term "special waste" describes wastes that contain dangerous substances but are not necessarily classified as hazardous by law.] Membership of Eurits is open to companies that operate a high-temperature incineration plant for special waste.
The European Commission has identified that Europe needs a network of facilities to destroy waste that is so hazardous that it is dangerous to human health and the environment. In providing this network, the member companies within Eurits have two key roles in the effective operation of a recycling society:
- Acting as gatekeepers to prevent hazardous waste and other wastes containing dangerous components entering the recycling chain to ensure that the components do not end up in products (for example, general construction material, food and animal feedstuff) and have an adverse impact on human health and the environment.
- Being part of the recycling society by enabling the recovery of energy and materials from the high-temperature incineration process, either in their own plants (for example through the use of waste as a fuel in the process and the use of bottom ashes in controlled construction applications for example landfill construction) and in the wider economy (where examples include the supply of electricity and steam outside the plant and the re-use of metals).
Eurits' mission statement "special waste in good hands" means that we support compliance with codes of good practice, legislation or regulations, especially those relating to environmental protection and to safety and we condemn any deliberate infringement of these standards.
Conditions to act in a free market
In a free market, the following conditions should apply in order to ensure that the market can operate in an environmentally-sustainable way:
- The waste hierarchy must be used with care:
A higher step should always be preferred so long as all direct and indirect environmental and safety aspects have been fully considered and more pollution is not created when waste is recycled than would have arisen if a step lower in the hierarchy had been used.
- Good definitions of waste and end-of-waste are followed:
Eurits strongly believes that a material should be defined as "waste" by reference to its physical and chemical properties and not by reference to any subjective criteria.
Hazardous waste should remain classified as wastes and subject to waste regulations in all their further uses. The only exception could be where the waste undergoes a licensed treatment where the hazardous contaminants are safely separated to allow its further use as a product.
Hazardous waste should not be declassified for use as an energy source because this could lead to the circumvention of the emission limit values set out in the Industrial Emissions Directive. Once a waste is declassified then the emission limit value (ELVs) and Best Available Techniques (BAT) relating to waste will no longer be applicable and lower standards will come into force.
- No solution by dilution:
In waste management, dilution is often used in an attempt to circumvent environmental legislation in order to allow a waste to be treated by a cheaper but generally less environmentally-acceptable solution. This is wrong and is prohibited under the Waste Directive [2008/98/EC].
Environmental protection is best served by waste materials being decontaminated and the toxic components either being destroyed or being concentrated and safely disposed of, rather than by dilution and dispersal of toxic components that could have an adverse impact on human health and the environment.
- There should be full transparency and traceability:
Eurits supports complete transparency and traceability in the waste management chain from the waste producer to the final treatment of the waste.
Eurits supports an "open door" policy in relation to the operational aspects of the waste management chain. The aim of this policy is to create public confidence in, and acceptance of, our facilities.
- The implementation of legislation and its continued operation should be enforced by the competent authorities:
Eurits believes that the implementation and the operation of legislation governing all forms of waste incineration (including co-incineration) and treatment should be firmly enforced by the competent authorities to ensure the consistent and effective application of the legislation.
- Application of consistent and uniform standards:
Eurits supports the application of strict standards and the use of BAT to all forms of waste treatment and specifically for the treatment of waste that is dangerous or hazardous, including high temperature waste incineration and all other forms of waste incineration. These strict standards should be applied uniformly and consistently across Europe including to all plants performing similar treatment of wastes, whether part of that plant's primary function or not.