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Waste Incineration Directive

Volume 447: debated on Monday 12 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which EU member states have designated tallow as a waste product under the Waste Incineration Directive. (73485)

[holding answer 5 June 2006]: For the purposes of the Waste Incineration Directive (WID), “waste” means any solid or liquid waste as defined in Article 1(a) of the Waste Framework Directive (WFD). Whether or not a substance is “waste” within the meaning of Article 1(a) of the WFD is a matter that must be determined on the facts of the case and the interpretation of the law is a matter for the courts.

In addition the EU Animal By-Products Regulation (ABPR) ((EC) No. 1774/2002) requires a range of animal by-products, and substances derived from them (for example, tallow), to be disposed of as waste. Where the method of disposal is incineration or co-incineration (that is, use as a fuel), the ABPR requires it to be carried out in compliance with the WID. The ABPR is directly applicable in all EU member states.

We understand that other member states are at various stages in discussing the implications of the regulations on burning tallow in their own countries. However, in response to representations by the UK Government, the European Commission has set up a study to help establish whether such controls are proportionate and necessary to the protection of the environment. The study is expected to report by the autumn, and the Government are pressing the Commission for the study to be completed as soon as possible.