September 20, 2019

END OF WASTE: first Italian experience of circular economy principles

by Martina Favini in Deepening

End of waste: from ruling of the European Court of Justice (28 March 2019, C-60/18) to Italian experiences and attempts to implement circular economy principles.

While the Italian Government is still waiting to provide for a specific regulation about the so-called end of waste – i.e. the authorization procedures for the transition from waste to new product, with the consequent readmission of the good to the market – the European Court of Justice has provided interesting directions and some public entities, among which the Metropolitan City of Milan, have acted as forerunners in order to resolve the issue.
In the ruling of 28 March 2018 (case c-60/18 – As Tallina Vesi As) the Court has confirmed that the legislation on waste is aimed as safeguarding public interests of human health and environment. In absence of standard criteria established at the legislative level of the Community or nationally, the mentioned public interests are safeguarded if it is reached a technical-scientific awareness of the products that allows public Authorities to exclude any type of danger for human health and environment.
Consequently – but this profile is not always understood by reviewers – when the above-mentioned ratio is respected, according to the European law there are not obstacles to release authorisation by national authorities, to transform waste in a new product.
On the basis of similar considerations and on the impulse of economic operators, some administrations unlocked the authorisations process of biomethane plants deriving from the treatment of solid urban waste previously blocked due to a restrictive interpretation of the applicable rules.