Commercial Waste Ordinance

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The Commercial Waste Ordinance (GewAbfV) requires commercial enterprises to separate their waste, such as paper, wood, glass and metals, at the point of generation in order to ensure the highest possible quality recycling of the waste. It does not apply to waste that is subject to the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act or the Battery Act (§ 1 para. 4 of the Ordinance).

The new GewAbfV came into force on 1 August 2017. With the amendment, the legislator aims, among other things, to strengthen the separate collection of recyclable waste and thus recycling. This leads to extended separate collection and documentation obligations for waste producers. In the area of commercial municipal waste, wood, textiles and all organic waste must now be collected separately in addition to paper, cardboard, plastics, glass and metals. This must be documented accordingly and presented to the competent authority upon request. The documentation shall be provided in the form of site plans, photographs, practical evidence such as delivery or weighing notes or similar documents.

In addition, the waste producer must keep a declaration from the waste transferee proving that the separately collected waste has been sent for recycling. In the event that separate collection is technically impossible or economically unreasonable for the waste producer, mixed waste collection is permitted by way of exception. This mixture of waste must in any case be fed into a commercial waste pre-treatment facility. The Ordinance also defines extended separate collection and documentation obligations for construction and demolition waste.

The aim is to reduce the incineration (thermal waste treatment) of commercial waste (currently around six million tonnes per year). The current recycling rate of 7 per cent is to increase to at least 30 per cent.

Separation may be waived if the waste mixture is demonstrably fed into an approved waste sorting facility where the waste is separated and subsequently recycled.

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