End of Waste

A complete guide to End of Waste in waste management: definition, regulations and end-of-waste criteria

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 that, at the end of treatment, 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 that can be reused in another production process.

EoW at the level of environmental sustainability and the Circular Economy is to be understood as a management (management) tool that, with supporting legislation, allows operators to exploit the residual capacity of waste material.

For this reason, ‘End-of-Waste’ is not fully part of the Circular Economy (CE) models, as waste prevention, and the consequent reduction of the impact of the consumed product, is not put in the foreground.

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 and that 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, the two are quite distinct, thanks to regulations that have specific definitions and criteria within them that the material must meet to be considered End of Waste or 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. While Secondary Raw Material represents the result of this recovery process, which will have to fulfil other criteria to be used by companies as a raw material.

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”. 
  • 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.


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 municipal and special 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

With the publication of the Ministerial Decree (DM) on March 2, 2018, the recovery process of biomethane and hydrocarbons from the transport sector is definitively regulated.

The features that the substance must possess are contained in Article 3 of the same DM.

The aim of the Ministerial Decree is to expand the list of waste considered End of Waste, with the intention of overcoming the bureaucratic slowness that has characterized this sector in recent years.

In fact, the operational speed will, be an incentive for new investments in plants for the production of green fuel from 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 ensure the absence of the following pathogens: salmonella, which must be absent in a 25g sample, and Escherichia coli, which must be 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 with special reference to inert waste, i.e., materials that do not undergo any significant physical, chemical, or biological transformation, abandoned or produced by earthquakes and floods.
  • The control phase to be carried out on the aggregate produced once the waste is recovered, where the presence of substances such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, asbestos, chlorides, and sulphates is checked.
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.


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 used, which helps to decrease the impact on the environment by eliminating part of the activities related to the extraction of the materials needed to operate the processes.
  • 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.
  • The valorization of company waste, which allows the company to improve its green corporate image, communicating to its stakeholders the activities undertaken in terms of environmental sustainability.
  • 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

Once we understand the benefits that End of Waste processes can bring to companies, it is useful to analyze real case studies of companies that have benefited from this type of activity.

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 actively works with the environmental manager to receive the waste and start the treatment process that transforms this waste into new raw materials to be used 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 determined to implement a new agenda of measures aimed at safeguarding the planet from the waste in which we are drowning, due to factors such as population growth, lack of raw materials, and changing production processes.

At the heart of the circularity concept is the reduction of raw material consumption through the design of products with long-term obsolescence and easy maintenance at lower costs. This is based on the principle of reusing (Reuse) raw materials, which is the first important life cycle of products, to avoid wasting the energy used in 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.