In order to stabilise the economy Europe must reduce the amount of recyclables it is exporting to non-EU countries and bring back manufacturing, according to a pan-European local authority association.
Vanya Veras, secretary general of Municipal Waste Europe, told the LARAC conference October 19th that the European economy was losing out by not taking advantage of its resources.
Veras identified key areas of improvement;
- Greater control and communication between municipalities and producers
- Taking advantage of internal resources, specifically raw materials from waste
- Greater environmental sustainability to achieve resource efficiency
- The roles of local authorities to link citizens and producers to encourage more recycling
In a question and answer session a number of issues were raised with Veras;
- Potential end of free trade by ending exports to China
- Claims that the private sector shouldn't have the option to directly collect some materials from householders.
In response Veras held the argument of improving resource efficiency through recycling waste in the EU and bringing production back to Europe.
And again with private sector collections Veras tried to build a picture of total resource efficiency improvement through the keeping of collections via local authorities.