What is Waste? - Irish & European Perspectives on Waste Law
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Geaney, J. (2010), 'What is Waste? - Irish & European Perspectives on Waste Law' Unpublished master's thesis, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland
Irish and European waste legislation has progressed through a myriad of legislative waste revisions over the last 35 years. The complex web of legislation includes; 1975- Council Directive on Waste (75/442/EEC) 1991- Council Directive on Waste (91/156/EEC) 1993- Establishment of Environmental Protection Agency (Ireland) 1994- European Waste Catalogue Published 1996- Waste Management Act (Ireland) 1998- 'Changing Our Ways' Irish Waste Policy 1999- Council Directive on Landfill (99/31/EC) 2001- Waste Management Amendment Act (Ireland) 2002- New European Waste Catalogue 2002- 'Preventing & Recycling Waste- Delivering Change ' New Irish Waste Policy 2003- Council Directive on Acceptance of Waste at Landfills (2003/33/EC) 2004- National Waste Prevention Programme Launched (Ireland) 2003- Thematic Strategy on Prevention and Recycling of Waste 2006- Council Directive on Waste (2006/12/EC) 2006- National Strategy on Biodegradable Waste (Ireland) 2008- Council Directive on Waste (2008/98/EC) 2009- National Waste Prevention Program (2009-2012) Launched (Ireland) 2010- Deadline for entry of 2008/98/EC into force in all member states (12th Dec) While the body of legislation is comprehensive, a major debate still reigns on one central issue; What is the legal definition of Waste?. Throughout the history of the various Waste Directives, this issue has perplexed the courts in many of the member states and has consistently been referred to the European Court of Justice for interpretation and definition. Cichowski (1999) reported that national judges within the EU had asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for 6 interpretation of waste law more than any other subject from the beginnings of the waste directive in 1976 through to 1998. This dissertation reviews the key literature and European Court of Justice (ECJ) case histories involving the definition of waste. It also reviews similar cases involving waste definition in the Irish courts and discusses the issues associated with the definition both at a National and a Community level. It also previews some future waste definition issues likely to require further determination in the future. As a result of this research, it is clear that confusion regarding the exact definition of waste and indeed holders of waste still exists at a legislative level. As case law has evolved, the European Court has substantially changed its definition of waste. Furthermore, it is also clear that through analysis of cases such as Brady vs the EPA and the Commission vs Spain, there are significant differences between the National Courts and the Community on this definition. Finally it is also apparent that the development of ¿End of Waste¿ criteria will further complicate an already confused picture at both a National and Community level.