Landfills put several direct and indirect problems to our society. Landfills waste resources, require large amounts of land space and when they reach their capacity, there are but two options: one, make them bigger, or two, simply build more. All landfills will eventually reach their capacity, and when they do, they don’t disappear; they remain full of our waste requiring continuous surveillance and always risking soil and underground water contamination. In short, they are not a sustainable form of waste management, as future generations will have to address the landfill problem that we are creating today.
EU Landfill Directive sets rigorous standards to reduce both our reliance on landfill and the environmental impact of wastes disposed of by landfill. Tighter operational and infrastructure standards limit the types and nature of waste that we can send to landfill and place greater restrictions on the location of landfill sites.
The legal provisions dealing with these points are Decreto-Lei n.º 183/2009 de 10 de Agosto (Portuguese Regulations), the Landfill Directive (1999/31/EC) and the Council Decision (2003/33/EC). These provisions have a significant impact on how we manage wastes.
Landfill sites should only be used once alternative options for managing waste have been considered and discounted, because as well as the requirements of the direct legislation there are additional pressures limiting waste to landfill.
In Europe countries are slowly but steadily diverting industrial waste from landfill, Portugal will eventually follow this trend.
Waste producers make the initial decisions about the management of their waste and will decide whether landfill is the best option. They will usually need to liaise with waste management contractors to make this decision. They may allow a contractor to make the decisions for them, but they still have a Duty of Care.
Since we take an European perspective and are we active in various countries, we know exactly which legislative framework applies to you. We have the experience of helping companies deal with change towards a sustainable waste management 100% compliant with no future liabilities. If you decide your company wants to take a proactive approach please call us and we will be happy to advise you.