United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Germany

Germany also wants to align itself with the EU statement. We would like to add some
information from our national perspective.
The objective of the German government?s policy on waste is to achieve a recyclingbased
economy that conserves resources and reduces adverse impacts on the
environment. The aim is to increase and optimise the efficient use of raw materials, to
maximise recycling and recovery quotas and to permanently remove from our
environment any residual waste that can no longer be used. This will lead to a
substance management within closed substance cycles, i.e. turning today?s trash into
tomorrow?s treasure-trove. Activities on waste are part of the Federal Ministry for the
Environment?s action programme to increase the productivity of resources.
The main pillar of waste legislation in Germany is the Closed Substance Cycle and
Waste Management Act. This act will be further developed by the end of 2010 on the
basis of the new EU Waste Framework Directive in order to further strengthen waste
prevention, recycling and recovery.
Modern waste policy in Germany has triggered the rapid evolution of recovery and
disposal technologies ? an important green market.
Glass, paper, old clothes, compost and biowaste, packaging, electrical and electronic
waste, batteries, metal, bulky waste and hazardous waste from private households
are collected separately in Germany before they are recycled. There has been a
clear shift towards more recovery and recycling. The overall recovery rate is more
than 70 percent.
The provisions on landfills in Germany are much stricter than required by the EU
Landfill Directive. Since June 2005, residual waste from households and industry
must be treated in such a way as to prevent biological conversion processes from
occurring in landfills. This has led to a reduction of more than 30 million tonnes of
carbon dioxide equivalents per year.
As regards the problems linked to the export of e-waste, we actively work at the
international level, e.g. under the Basel Convention, and on national level. I would
like to inform that the results of a research project on exports of e-waste from
Germany have been published in March of this year. It contains a number of possible
measures to progress on this issue.
German development policy supports a number of technical and financial assistance
projects to further the environmentally sound management of wastes. In addition, the
Federal Ministry for the Environment is conducting an initiative ?Recycling and
Efficiency Technologies? (RETech) in order to foster the transfer of German recycling
and waste disposal technologies.
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