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Metals: Waste Disposal

Volume 502: debated on Monday 14 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will bring forward proposals to extend the end of waste criteria for the purposes of including recycled metal. (306334)

The point at which scrap metal is recycled and ceases to be waste has been set by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in cases C-444/00 (Mayer Parry) and C-457/02 (Niselli). The practical effect of these judgments is that scrap metal does not cease to be waste until it is reprocessed into products such as ingots, sheets or coils of steel. It is not legally feasible for DEFRA to adopt criteria which purport to set the end-of-waste point for scrap metal at a point earlier than that set by the ECJ. However, the European Commission has announced its intention to bring forward EU-wide end-of-waste criteria for ferrous, aluminium and copper scrap metal using the powers available to the Commission under article 6 of the revised Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC). UK officials have participated in the working groups established by the Commission to develop the technical aspects of proposals for ferrous and aluminium scrap.