End of Waste

Guide to End of Waste, the waste recovery process that transforms waste into secondary raw materials. Learn how it works and the importance of End of Waste in the sustainable management of waste materials.

What “End of Waste” means

End Of Waste, or also “Cessation of Waste Status”, refers to a set of processes aimed at the recovery of a specific waste. At the end of treatment, that waste will obtain the status of a new material (product) that can be used by companies. It is important to remember that the End Of Waste process refers to the set of practices involved and not to the end result.

What is End of Waste

End of Waste (EoW) is the process or set of processes that causes a waste to cease being a waste and thus become a new product. This product can be reused in another production process.

The aim of the EoW is to serve as a management tool, supported by legislation, for operators to utilize the remaining capacity of waste material, within the context of environmental sustainability and the Circular Economy.

For this reason, ‘End-of-Waste’ is not fully part of the Circular Economy (CE) models as waste prevention. This leads a lack of emphasis on reducing the impact of consumed products.

However, if the EoW leaves out the aspect of product design according to the principles of the Circular Economy, on the other hand, it carries the message that the Earth’s resources are limited. For this reason it is essential to focus on the recycling chain to obtain new non-virgin raw material.

If you want to learn more about the Circular Economy and discover its models and patterns, we recommend reading the Circular Economy guide. You will find many interesting insights into this sustainable approach.

Difference between End of Waste and Secondary Raw Material (SRM)

Prior to the introduction of Article 184-ter, within Law 128/2019, updating Legislative Decree 3 April 2006 – no. 152, “End of Waste” was identified within the category of Secondary Raw Materials (SRM), provided for within Decree no. 22 of 1997 (Ronchi Decree).

Today, there is a clear distinction between the two. Thanks to regulations that provide specific definitions and criteria, materials must meet certain requirements to be classified as End of Waste or Secondary Raw Material (SRM).

With the publication of Art. 184-ter, EoW finally has its own regulatory identity and definition:

A waste ceases to be waste when it has undergone a recovery operation, including recycling, and meets specific criteria, to be adopted in accordance with specific conditions.”

Basically, EoW refers to the process that leads to the transformation of waste. Secondary Raw Material represents, on the other hand, the result of this recovery process, which will have to fulfil other criteria to be used by companies as a raw material. The definition of MPS is not to be confused with the By-product one.

End Of Waste legislation

As is the case with most environmental legislation, the key reference source is the European Union (EU).

The EU has the task of issuing guidelines containing the basic concepts, which will be specifically transposed and reworked by each member country.

The same situation occurs for End Of Waste legislation, which in Europe refers to Article 6 of Directive 2008/98/EC, while in Italy it refers to Article 184 ter of Legislative Decree no. 152/2006, also known as the Consolidated Environmental Act (Testo Unico Ambientale).

Evolution of the legislation in Italy

Over time, EoW legislation has evolved by integrating new national decrees and new European directives.

The main changes were as follows:

  • In 1997, the Ronchi Decree was issued, a landmark text in Italy for waste management. There was no reference to EoW and its management in there.
  • In 2006, the Consolidated Environmental Law (Testo Unico Ambientale) was published through Legislative Decree no. 152. There is no distinction between EoW and MPS in there. EoW, therefore, is included within the management part related to Secondary Raw Materials (SRM).
  • In 2008, with Directive 2008/98/EC, also called Waste Framework, priority is given to the prevention of waste creation and the preparation for re-use. This phase is now inserted within the waste transformation process.
  • In 2010, Italy transposed the 2008 European legislation and issued the Legislative Decree of 3/12/2010 – n. 205, which was integrated with D. Legs. 3/04/2006 – no. 152, the reference legislative text in Italy. The integration took place through the insertion of Article 184-ter, called “Cessation of waste status”. 

Latest updates

  • In 2019, important changes regarding End Of Waste were introduced within Law 128/2019. These new rules represent a step forward in the regulation of the sector and provide more clarity on the responsibilities of the competent authorities. According to these additions, the competent authorities are in charge of issuing permits and, within a maximum limit of ten days from the notification of the installation, are required to transmit the measures relating to the permit to ISPRA. These provisions aim to ensure more efficient and transparent waste management by promoting adequate supervision by the competent authorities.

End Of Waste Criteria

Article 184-ter of the Consolidated Environmental Act (TUA) defines the circumstances that determine the termination of waste status for a given substance through four fundamental criteria:

  • The substance under consideration must undergo a recovery process, e.g., a recycling process;
  • The substance or object serves a specific purpose for which it will be used;
  • The substance meets the technical requirements for the specific purpose and complies with the regulations and standards applicable to products;
  • The use of the substance will not harm the environment or human health.

How the declaration of conformity works

The body responsible for monitoring the criteria contained in the legislation is the National System for Environmental Protection (SNPA).

The SNPA monitors waste recovery facilities that have received authorization from the regions. Usually, however, it is not the SNPA that carries out the analysis, but a delegate operating at the territorial level. In most cases, this role is performed by the relevant Regional Environmental Protection Agency (ARPA).

In order to make the analysis processes compliant and operate nationwide in a more consistent and effective manner, the SNPA has drafted the SNPA Guidelines no. 23/2020.

The document includes the planning and execution system for inspections to be carried out on each waste recovery and recycling facility.

Pulsante: valorizza ora i tuoi scarti aziendali Pulsante: Valorizza ora i tuoi scarti aziendali

Turn your company waste into value

Sfridoo® empowers you to harness the residual value of your waste, enabling you to achieve economic, fiscal, and environmental benefits. Embrace the principles of the Circular Economy and collaborate with other companies in our network to maximize your gains.

enhance value now

End of Waste Categories

The list of categories of materials that can undergo the End of Waste processes is constantly being updated.

Currently, only some materials have specific legislation. Anyway, efforts are being made to standardize as many materials as possible in order to promote circular supply chains.

End of Waste paper and cardboard

Thanks to the approval of the EoW decree, the criteria for ceasing the waste status for paper and cardboard came into effect on September 24, 2020.

Specifically, the decree also includes laminated paper and packaging derived from separate collection of urban and industrial waste.

Producers of paper and cardboard will be obligated to implement a quality management system for the recovered materials, following the UNI EN ISO 9001 standard.

The certification of materials must be carried out by an accredited entity according to the regulations.

Once the materials are certified, they can be used in manufacturing, the paper industry, or other industries that utilize them as raw materials.

End of Waste plastics

In Italy, there is already an End of Waste decree for the energy recovery of plastics: the Clini Decree issued on February 14, 2013. The decree imposes strict rules for the recovery of this waste.

However, work is underway at the European level to introduce new criteria.

According to statements from the European Commission, new guidelines for the cessation of waste status for plastic materials will be developed by the first quarter of 2024.

The purpose of these guidelines is to provide clarity on the treatment of mixed plastics, which amount to 500,000 tonnes of municipal waste annually.

According to the press release published by the EU on April 5, 2022, the work on the development of these criteria focuses on specific categories of plastic waste:

  • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
  • High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
  • High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
  • Mixed plastic waste
  • Polystyrene, including expanded polystyrene
  • Polypropylene recovered/recycled from plastic waste.
  • polipropilene recuperato/riciclato da rifiuti in plastica.

End of Waste biomethane

The Ministerial Decree (DM) published on March 2, 2018, establishes definitive regulations for the recovery of biomethane and hydrocarbons in the transport sector.

Article 3 of the DM contains the required attributes for the substance.

By broadening the list of waste classified as End of Waste, the aim is to overcome the bureaucratic delays that have impacted the sector in recent years.

The increased operational speed will incentivize investments in green fuel production plants using organic waste and sewage sludge.

End of Waste compost

According to Legislative Decree 75/2010, the material in question must meet these four criteria to be considered recoverable:

  • The minimum organic matter content must be at least 15% by dry weight, to be assessed when the product has completed the composting phase.
  • Sample analysis must confirm the absence of salmonella in a 25g sample and ensure that Escherichia coli is less than or equal to 100 CFU/g.
  • The maximum acceptable quantity is two viable weed seeds per liter of compost.
  • The maximum permissible limit is that 0.5% of the dry weight may contain glass, metal, and plastic in fractions greater than 2 mm.

End of Waste building

On May 17, 2002, the Council of State (CDS), after notifying the EU Commission, approved the draft regulation for the end-of-waste status of building materials.

This regulatory update will lead to the inclusion of construction and demolition waste in the End of Waste list and appropriate waste processing.

There are two main aspects of interest to the Ministry of Ecological Transition:

  • The incoming waste sorting phase focuses on inert waste. Inert waste refers to materials that do not undergo significant physical, chemical, or biological transformation and are either abandoned or generated by earthquakes and floods.
  • The control phase is conducted on the aggregate produced after waste recovery. This phase involves checking for the presence of substances such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, asbestos, chlorides, and sulphates.
Pulsante: valorizza ora i tuoi scarti aziendali Pulsante: Valorizza ora i tuoi scarti aziendali

Turn your company waste into value

Sfridoo® empowers you to harness the residual value of your waste, enabling you to achieve economic, fiscal, and environmental benefits. Embrace the principles of the Circular Economy and collaborate with other companies in our network to maximize your gains.

enhance value now

Benefits for companies

The use of End of Waste practices in companies leads to several benefits of a different kind.

Here are the most relevant ones to consider if you want to undertake a path of EoW for your production residues:

  • The reduction of virgin raw material usage contributes to decreasing the environmental impact. This reduction eliminates a portion of the activities associated with extracting the materials necessary for the processes to operate.
  • The opportunity to use new materials that can be exploited within the processes.
  • The creation of a second raw material market, which gives an economic advantage to both producers of the material and users, in the perspective of Industrial Symbiosis.
  • The valorization of company waste enhances the company’s green corporate image. It enables the communication of environmental sustainability activities undertaken by the company to its stakeholders.
  • The introduction of recovered material in the form of EoW or MPS contributes to compliance with CAM (Minimum Environmental Criteria) requirements.

End of Waste case studies

Understanding the benefits of End of Waste processes for companies, it is valuable to examine real case studies. These case studies showcase companies that have experienced the advantages of such activities.

Aliplast case study

Aliplast S.p.A., a company of the Hera Group, manages the recycling of different types of plastic, including PET and polyethylene film.

The company collaborates with the environmental manager to receive the waste. They initiate the treatment process, which converts this waste into new raw materials for utilization in other industrial processes.

Fater case study

Another case study, among the excellences in the Italian landscape, is that of the company Fater, a leader in the personal pads market and in the European market for bleaches.

In 2015, the Italian multinational launched a project, in collaboration with Pampers and other partners, that will lead to the recovery of 1500 tonnes of nappies and pads that would otherwise have been destined for landfill or combustion.

Through the process of recovering this waste, Fater has achieved significant results. In particular, each tonne of waste corresponds to the production of:

  • 75 kg of plastic;
  • 150 kg of cellulose;
  • 75 kg of super absorbent polymer.

Origins of the Circular Economy

2020 is the year of the Circular Economy, a model that is increasingly being adopted among the countries of the European Union.

These countries are committed to implementing a new agenda of measures. The goal is to safeguard the planet from the overwhelming amount of waste resulting from factors such as population growth, raw material scarcity, and evolving production processes.

The core of the circularity concept lies in reducing raw material consumption. This is achieved through designing products with long-term obsolescence and easy maintenance at lower costs. The principle of reusing raw materials, which constitutes the crucial initial life cycle of products, is employed to prevent wastage of the energy expended during their production. Recycling is considered the last step to recover the material.

The Circular Economy, considered the fourth industrial revolution together with Industry 4.0, is based on five fundamental principles to define a new regenerative economy:

  • Product as a Service (PaaS)
  • Use of sustainable and innovative materials
  • Sharing of ownership (sharing economy)
  • Product regeneration
  • Increasing the lifespan of products.

Pulsante: valorizza ora i tuoi scarti aziendali Pulsante: Valorizza ora i tuoi scarti aziendali

Turn your company waste into value

Sfridoo® empowers you to harness the residual value of your waste, enabling you to achieve economic, fiscal, and environmental benefits. Embrace the principles of the Circular Economy and collaborate with other companies in our network to maximize your gains.

enhance value now