The new Inerti Decree on waste reuse has been signed (End of Waste)


Emma Potter

The construction and demolition waste management sector is about to face a significant change with the introduction of the new End of Waste Decree.

This measure, recently signed by the Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security (MASE), will replace the previous version, contested by operators for several critical issues.

Let’s break down the key changes and their impact.

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The main changes of the new Inerti Decree

Review of contaminant limits

The new decree (download the draft here) addresses one of the main criticisms of the previous text. The limits on the presence of contaminants in recovered aggregates, considered too restrictive, have been revised. This change aims to make the parameters more realistic and feasible for operators in the sector, facilitating the recovery process without compromising environmental safety.

Optimized recovery process

A more efficient recovery process is outlined that allows inert waste to be transformed into reusable products. The new decree provides clearer guidelines on how to manage the recovery process, while ensuring environmental protection and the quality of recovered materials.

Classification as a product

once the established criteria are met, the recovered inert materials will no longer be considered waste, but products in all respects. This change in status represents a significant turning point, as it facilitates the reuse of these materials in various building and infrastructure contexts, reducing bureaucratic and regulatory obstacles.

Monitoring period

the decree introduces a 24-month observation period. During this period, it will be possible to collect data on the practical application of the new rules and, if necessary, make changes to optimize their effectiveness. This provision demonstrates a flexible approach aimed at continuous improvement.

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Impact of changes on the sector

The changes introduced by the new Inerti Decree will have significant repercussions on various aspects of the sector:

  • Operational simplification:
    Construction and demolition companies will benefit from a clearer and more workable regulatory framework. This should result in simplified recovery operations and reduced disposal costs.
  • Increase in recycling rate:
    the inert waste recovery sector, which already generates over 60 million tonnes of recovered aggregates annually, will be able to operate more efficiently. The recycling rate, currently above the European target of 80%, is expected to improve further.
  • Recovered Aggregates Market Expansion:
    With more realistic parameters and a classification as a product, an increase in the supply of recovered aggregates on the market is expected. These will be able to more effectively replace natural inert materials in various construction and infrastructure applications.
  • Promoting the circular economy:
    The new rules promote a more circular approach in the construction sector, reducing the extraction of virgin raw materials and the landfilling of inert waste.

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Remaining challenges and future prospects

Despite the improvements, some challenges remain. TheNational Association of Recycled Aggregate Producers (ANPAR) highlighted that, although the new regulation resolves many of the previous critical issues, some issues still need to be resolved.

In particular:

  • Concentration limits for specific uses:
    doubts remain about the concentration limits for the use of recovered aggregates in road filling works, a crucial market for the sector.
  • Technical fine tuning:
    During the monitoring period, technical refinement work will be necessary to ensure that the new rules are fully effective and practicable.

In conclusion, the new Inerti Decree represents a significant step towards a more sustainable management of construction and demolition waste. As the sector prepares for the implementation of these new rules, a continuous dialogue between operators and authorities will be essential to maximize their effectiveness and benefit for all stakeholders.

The monitoring period will be crucial to assess the real impact of the changes and to make any necessary adjustments, ensuring that the new decree can actually represent the “epochal turning point” hoped for by Deputy Minister of the Environment Vannia Gava.