Spanish Municipalities Support Waste Act

Spanish Municipalities Support Waste Act

Recently amended law allows Spanish generators of recyclables to determine the final destination of their waste.

June 19, 2013
Recycling Today Staff
Legislation & Regulations Paper

The town of Fuenlabrada in Spain and the Association of Municipalities of the Costa del Sol have committed to recycle collected materials under the parameters set by the recently amended Spanish Waste Act, reports Spanish paper industry association ASPAPEL.

The act upholds the legality of recycling “Made in Europe” and gives Spanish generators of recyclable waste materials powers to decide on the final destination of their waste.

The possibility of prioritizing recycling within the European Union was set down for the first time in Spanish legislation for town councils through the 2011 Waste Act, and in November 2012, an amendment was included in the law that extends the possibility of championing recycling made in Europe to all producers or initial holders of recyclable waste.

The Fuenlabrada town council has recently approved a proposal in which it commits to recycling “made in Europe” and pledges that all the paper and board collected in the town will be recycled in Spanish or European paper mills. Fuenlabrada, with a population of more than 200,000, is one of the largest towns in the Greater Madrid area and also has one of the youngest populations of all Spanish cities.

On a similar note, the Association of Municipalities of the Western Costa del Sol has included a pioneer requirement in its new contract for paper and board collection services that the concessionaire delivers all waste paper and board it collects to a paper mill within the European Union and also submits supporting documents to guarantee traceability of that waste. The association provides services such as separate paper and board collection to about 460,000 inhabitants in the province of Malaga. It groups 11 town councils from the Costa del Sol, including resorts such as Marbella, Torremolinos, Fuengirola, Benalmadena, Mijas and Estepona.

Currently in Spain, any large retailer, such as a bank, hotel chain, service company or municipal council can legally require that the final recycling of its waste materials be carried out in European paper mills. This new legislation shields “made in Europe” recycling and affords Spanish generators the ability to decide on the final destination of their waste.

By developing a European recycling society through such initiatives, the EU Commission estimates that more than 400,000 jobs would be created in Europe by 2020.

Among the other benefits to the new law, according to ASPAPEL, are reduced emissions associated with transporting waste, the use of recycling services known to meet European environmental requirements, increased jobs and revenues, and improved transparency in the recycling process.