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Waste law (public waste law), horak Attorneys at Law, Germany

In Germany, the handling of waste is decisively determined by the circular economy law. The main goal of the law, which is defined by the respective Land Waste Act, is to create as little waste as possible and to recycle as much as possible.

Thus, here you find the clear purpose of the legislature in the waste legislation.

Waste Legislation and circular-economy law

The Waste-management Act is essential for the recycling economy and waste disposal in Germany. It is supplemented by a large number of further federal waste regulations.

In particular, the Act is intended to strengthen the prevention of waste and to promote sustainable recycling. It defines the basic concepts, the regulations on secondary products and the waste characteristic, contains the obligations of the waste producers and the public waste disposal providers, regulates basic questions of product and planning´s responsibility and contains guidelines for the monitoring and coordination of the products.

The following aspects of the Waste Management Act are important to companies, traders, associations or private persons.

Those include:

  • Commercial and non-profit collections are to be communicated to the municipality no later than three months before the start (f.e. old clothing collections)
  • Collectors, carriers, traders and brokers must notify to the authorities whether they are dealing with non-hazardous waste or not. A permit is required for hazardous waste.
  • The environmental protection authorities, for instance the districts and municipalities, are basically responsible for the enforcement of legal provisions on waste disposal.
  • All waste from private households must be handed over to local authorities as public waste disposal authorities.

Important Waste Laws

The following waste regulations are important:

  • Law for the promotion of recycling and safeguarding the environmentally sound disposal of waste;
  • Waste Disposal Act;
  • Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act;
  • Battery regulation.
  • Legal regulations, directives and technical guidance on waste management:
  • Ordinance on landfills and long-term storage (Landfill Ordinance - DepV)
  • Ordinance on requirements for the recovery and disposal of old timber (Old Wood Ordinance - Old Wood V)
  • Ordinance on the disposal of industrial settlements and certain construction and demolition waste (Gewerbeabfallverordnung - GewAbfV)
  • Ordinance on the prevention and recycling of packaging waste (Verpackungsverordnung -VackpackV)
  • Ordinance on the European List of Waste (Ordinance on Waste Disposal - AVV)
  • Ordinance on Recovery and Elimination Proof (Ordinance of Provisions - NachwV)
  • Ordinance on transport authorizations (Ordinance on Transportation Authorization - TgV)
  • Ordinance on Disposal Specialists (Waste Disposal Ordinance - EfbV)
  • Ordinance on the transfer, return and environmentally acceptable disposal of old vehicles (End-of-life vehicle regulation - end-of-life vehicles directive)
  • Directive on the activity and recognition of waste management associations (waste management associations)
  • Ordinance for the implementation of the Battery Act (BattGDV)
  • Sewage sludge regulation (AbfKl¦rV)
  • Ordinance on the recycling of bio-waste on agricultural, forestry and horticultural soils (Bioabfallverordnung - BioAbfV)

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© German lawyer Michael Horak 2002-2018

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