HOME



Search this website

Factsheet for Netherlands

1. General facts

CountryNetherlands (NL)
Surface area41,528 Km²
Population (thousands)16410
Population density395
Persons per household2.3
GDP per capita PPS131.7
GDP per capita
Household characteristics67% in densely populated areas (at least 500 inhab./km2)
30% in intermediate urbanised areas (100 - 499 inhab./km2)
3% in sparsely populated areas (less than 100 inhab/km2)
Gross value added18.6% Industry, including energy
5.5% Construction
21.9% Trade, transport and communication services
27.7% Business activities and financial services
24.1% Other services
2.2% Agriculture, hunting and fishing

2. Legislation overview

In 1997 there was a decision to centralise responsibility for waste management, implying a shift in powers from the provincial authorities to the central government authorities. The amendment to the Environmental Management Act reflecting the change came into force on 8 May 2002. In the wake of the power shifts, the Act stipulates that the Ministry for Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment must draw up a Waste Management Plan once in every six years. The plan must stipulate policy for the management of all waste covered by the Environmental Management Act. The National Waste Management Plan 2002-2012 (LAP) was the first report that complies with the obligation imposed by the Act. The National Waste Management Plan has been reviewed and it will be implemented in the second quarter of 2009. The plan’s horizon is from 2009 to 2015, with a view to 2021.

The National Waste Management Plan is the plan for the national authorities, provinces and municipalities concerning waste management in the Netherlands. The plan implements related international regulations and it sets the rules for the regulation of the management of specific waste streams.
 
The legal duties of provinces are mostly concerning the licensing and enforcement of waste treatment facilities (including incineration and landfilling), including the regulation of waste prevention in individual licenses. The provinces are also responsible (financially, administrative and organizationally) for the everlasting aftercare for the individual landfills. To make this task possible they have the possibility to charge a levy for the amounts of waste land filled. With this levy a aftercare fund is build up for everlasting aftercare after the landfill is closed.

Municipalities are responsible for the (separate) collection of household waste in their one city. In the Netherlands, the definition of household waste covers all wastes arising from private households with the exception of wastewater and car wrecks. Bulky household waste items are usually analysed separately however. The basic pattern is once a week collection near each premises. Authorities are obliged to collect organic household waste separately, door-to-door, though there may be deviations in specific circumstances. Local authority bylaws mainly include rules on disposal of household waste, for example, which components have to be kept separate, frequency of waste collection and the agencies carrying out collection.

2.2 National acts

ReferenceMain content
Environmental Management Act (2008)Introduced an integrated approach to environmental issues, taking account of their interrelationships. Chapter 10 sets out the waste management legislation. It is the Dutch implementation of the Waste Framework Directive (75/442) and it incorporates the Waste Substances Act (1977) and the Chemical Waste Act (1976). The main features were that it defined the waste management as a hierarchy (based on Lansink’s Ladder and the Waste Framework Directive), and made separate collection of organic household waste compulsory.

2.2.2 National legislation

NameReferenceYear
Landfill Directive 99/31Existing legislation used: Environmental Management Act. Decree on Waste Disposal at Landfills (Soil Protection Act), the Waste Substances (Prohibition of landfill) decree. 1993
Landfill Decision 33/03Existing legislation used: Environmental Management Act. Decree on Waste Disposal at Landfills (Soil Protection Act), the Waste Substances (Prohibition of landfill) decree.1993
Incineration Directive 76/00Waste incineration decree2004

2.2.3 Selected legislation

NameReference
BMW (Biodegradable waste)Covered in the National waste management plan and the Environmental Management Act
PackagingDecree on Packaging and paper/cardboard (2005)
Construction and demolition wasteDecree on the mobile crushing of construction and demolition waste (2004)

2.3 Regional waste acts

no information

3. Waste management plans

no information

3.1 National plan

Period of implementation

Main features

2002 - 2012

The Dutch National Waste Management Plan was introduced in 2003. The main aim of the plan is to ensure that the proportion of waste utilisation for useful purpose rises from 81% in 2000 to 86% in 2012. This will be achieved through promoting the recycling of waste and by applying non-recyclable waste substances for useful purposes or as a fuel.

2009 – 2021

The second waste management plan including all the waste streams concerning the Environmental Management Act. The main aim of this plan is to contribute to the mission of the environmental policy: “with the creation of conditions and the general framework for the conservation and improvement of the environment to contribute to sustainable development”. (Further details see below).

 

The overall objectives of the (second) National Waste Management Plan are as follows:

  1. To limit the growth in waste generation (by decoupling from the economic growth).
  2. To reduce the environmental impact of “waste” (by optimising recovery and re-use).
  3. To minimize the environmental product chains (raw material extraction, production, use and waste management including reuse).

 

Quantitatively the objects are as follows

  1. Limit the waste production to 68 Mton in 2015 and 73 Mton in 2021.
  2. Promote the total waste recovery from 83% in 2006 to 85% in 2015.
  3. Promote the waste recovery/re-use of household waste from 51% in 2006 to 60% in 2015.
  4. Promote the waste recovery/re-use of waste from small business from 46% in 2006 to 60% in 2015.
  5. At least hold the current recovery/re-use rate for construction and demolition waste at the rate of 95%.
  6. At least hold the current recovery/re-use rate for industrial waste at the rate of 90%.
  7. Reduce the landfilling of burnable waste from 1,7 Mton in 2007 to 0 Mton in 2012.
  8. Reduce the environmental pressure of seven specific waste stream – chains by 20% per chain.

 

The National Waste Management Plan is based on article 10.2 of the Environmental Management Act. The plan is for the period 2009 to 2015, with a view to 2021. The updating period is six years. The plan contains different chapters for definitions, targets, policy concerning materials, instruments, minimum standards for the treatment of waste, policy for transboundary movements, prevention, separate collection, licenses and the enforcement. In the annex 84 specific waste streams are elaborated.

 

The National Waste Management Plan 2009-2021 can be found on the internet: http://www.lap2.nl. 

3.2 Regional plans

Not applicable in the Netherlands.

4. Waste prevention for Netherlands

4.1. Objectives

no information

4.2. Targets

See paragraph 3.1 for the main targets on the prevention and the reduction of waste, the environmental pressure of waste and specific product chains (ending in specific waste streams). Besides that there are specific targets to banish different metals - for instance batteries or cars or WEEE.

4.3. Strategy

The Waste Management Plan 2009-2021 contains a list of activities concerning the prevention of waste in the Netherlands. Important aspect concerning the (further introduction of) prevention of waste are: implementing the decree on Ecodesign, special attention for reducing the environmental pressure of different product chains, Cradle to Cradle, sustainable procurement and producer responsibility. Provinces may incorporate specific prevention actions within the licenses of companies.

4.4. Policy instruments

4.4.1. Regulatory instruments

Overview

In the Netherlands, the legal system of limiting the concentration of hazardous substance or banning its use in different products is based on chemical, food, environmental protection, consumer protection, workers protection, health protection and waste management law. The ordinance derived from waste management law are mentioned hereunder:

Bans

Regulatory instrument
Titlemercury and cadmium
Waste streamBatteries, Accumulators
Year2008
Legal documentDecree on batteries and accumulators
Regulatory instrument
Titlelead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium
Waste streamELV
Year2002
Legal documentDecree on ELV
Regulatory instrument
Titlelead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, PBB, PBDE
Waste streamWEEE
Year2004
Legal documentDecree on WEEE
Regulatory instrument
Titlelead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium
Waste streamPackaging waste
Year2005
Legal documentDecree on packaging waste

Additional info

Ecodesign instruments, based on EU legislation

Tools have been developed to help minimize the environmental pressure from the production, the use and the waste treatment for twenty one electrical products, eg. televisions, washing machines and  indoor lights.

4.4.2. Market-based instruments

Overview

no information

Additional info

no information

4.4.3. Information-based instruments

Overview

No information

Other instruments

Information-based instrument
TitleInformation on Batteries and Accumulators
ScopeBatteries and accumulators,
Final consumer
Year2008
Transition periodNo information
ObjectivesNo information
TargetsNo information
Description- Capacity (life span of products).
- Higher content of heavy metals.
- The potential effects on the environment and human health of the substances used in batteries and accumulators.
ImplementationNo information
ResultNo information
Information-based instrument
TitleWaste prevention and waste management aspects (e.g. ecodesign)
ScopeELV
Final consumer
Year2002
Transition periodNo information
ObjectivesNo information
TargetsNo information
DescriptionNo information
ImplementationNo information
ResultNo information
Information-based instrument
TitleComponent and material codes
ScopeDisassembling companies,
ELV
Year2002
Transition periodNo information
ObjectivesNo information
TargetsNo information
DescriptionUse of component and material coding standards, in particular to facilitate the identification of those components and materials, suitable for reuse and recovery
ImplementationNo information
ResultNo information
Information-based instrument
TitleNo information
ScopeInventory of waste prevention projects within companies
YearIn a
Transition periodNo information
ObjectivesThe inventory shall serve as a reference document for the planners who seek to get information on waste prevention.
TargetsNo information
DescriptionThe inventory lists the known projects on waste prevention in the Netherlands during 2001. Dutch companies at a certain time (2001). All the projects are described briefly in the following structure:

* name of project
* kind of project
* the involved branches (including NACE-code)
* sort summary of the project
* involved organisations including the one who is responsible
* geographic mark out
* number of companies involved
* year of coming into action (including end date)
* the possibility to get involved
* the existence of documents
* situation
* persons and organisations to contact for more information.

More than 500 projects have been listed.
ImplementationNo information
ResultMore companies familiar with the subject.

Additional info

No information

4.4.4. Voluntary instruments

Overview

No information

Additional info

No information

Examples

TitleDescription
No informationNo information

4.5 Waste prevention examples

No information

5. Construction and Demolition Waste for Netherlands

5.1. Objectives

There are no specific objectives for construction and demolition waste. The overall objectives also apply to construction and demolition waste.

5.2. Targets

See paragraph 3.1: Maintaining the recycling rate at 95%.

5.3. Strategy

No information

5.4. Policy instruments

5.4.1. Regulatory instruments

Additional info

Bans also applies to the landfilling of construction and demolition waste including fractions of separating construction and demolition waste.

5.4.2. Market-based instruments

Additional info

No information

5.4.3. Information-based instruments

Additional info

No information

5.4.4. Voluntary instruments

Additional info

No information

6. Biodegradable Municipal Waste - Netherlands

6.1. Objectives

No information

6.2. Targets

The overall recycling rate for household waste is 60%. Beside there are specific rates for packaging components (biodegradable) - 75% material recycling for paper and 25% for wood.

6.3. Strategy

The Dutch government recognises that the instruments it can deploy to achieve the environmental targets of waste management cover a wide range and vary from incentives to regulations. A distinction is drawn between four groups of instruments - communication, financial, incentives and regulations. It is not always possible to draw a clear distinction between these instruments, as they often overlap, e.g. incentives and financial instruments. Also, regulation is not possible without accompanying communication.

6.4. Policy instruments

6.4.1. Regulatory instruments

Regulatory instrument
Titlelandfill ban
ScopeBan on landfilling
Year1996
Transition periodNo information
ObjectivesPrevent certain waste streams being landfilled
TargetsNo information
DescriptionNo information
ImplementationLandfill ban and landfills decree (1994)
ResultReduction in waste being landfilled

Additional info

Communication strategies

Examples of communication are local authority information campaigns on separate waste collection by private citizens and information given by local authorities to SMEs on their waste prevention and separation obligations under a licence or general rules. This means that the players in the field, e.g. the business community, environmental organisations, financial institutions and branch organisations can be asked to play a part in providing information. Proper co-ordination between these organisations and a common ‘message’ are important conditions for getting this approach to succeed.

 

Financial instruments

The use of financial instruments in the management of waste has really taken off in recent years. Examples of these instruments are the environmental tax on landfilling, producer responsibility for a number of products and rate differentiation (‘Pay-as-you-throw-scheme”) in the collection of household waste. Trade in waste rights has been examined, but it was concluded that a system of this kind in the short term was not feasible and had no added value compared with the instruments already in use (as for example the landfill tax).

 

Tax on the landfill of waste:

The tax on the landfill of waste introduced in 1995 has an important controlling effect. Unlike a number of years ago, there is no longer any financial incentive to landfill many waste substances instead of incinerating them, because the landfill tax has mostly rendered incineration cheaper than landfilling. As a result the need to use ‘orders and injunctions’ to achieve the full capacity utilisation of waste incineration plants has diminished sharply.

On 1 January 2002 the use of this instrument was further reinforced by an increase in the landfill tax of EUR 11 per tonne. At the moment the actual level is EUR 85 per tonne. The purpose of this was to make the landfill of waste more expensive than alternatives to landfill and so put an end to the landfill of combustible waste. As a result of the increase, the separation or post-separation of waste streams into sub streams suitable for recovery became financially more attractive.

 

Producer responsibility:

The introduction of producer responsibility for products such as WEEE, car wrecks, tyres, batteries/accumulators and packaging waste is also a financial instrument. Making producers share responsibility for the management of their products at the end-of-life stage results in some of the waste management costs being internalised in the product price. Certainly in the case of products for which payment at the time of scrapping poses a risk of the products being managed in an unwanted or illegal manner, this internalisation is important. In the case of vehicle tyres, for example, this risk is the reason for extending producer responsibility to include the obligation to collect discarded vehicle tyres ‘free of charge’.

 

Differentiation of the collection charges for household waste:

A financial instrument applied by many local authorities is rate differentiation for the collection of household waste (Diftar or pay-as-you-throw scheme). This means that households pay in proportion to the quantity of their waste arisings. Payment is determined, for example, by weighing the waste presented for collection or by settlement on the basis of the number of times a household presents waste for collection. Households thus have a financial incentive to reduce the amount of residual waste presented for collection, which can be achieved through prevention or better separation of the waste.

 

Incentives

Incentives contribute in various ways to achieving the objectives of the National Waste Management Plan. Encouraging the development and transfer of knowledge plays an important part where there are technical obstacles to sound waste management or where the parties concerned are not fully aware of the technical possibilities. Examples are the 2001 government grants schemes for innovative collection techniques and for reuse and recycling. The latter scheme is aimed at supporting the development of markets for secondary plastics and is financed by the business community and government. Incentives are also used as a ‘prod’, a positive stimulus in the form of a financial contribution to activities that result in structural improvements in the management of waste.

 

Regulations

The Waste (Landfill Ban) Decree came into force in 1995 and prohibits landfilling of waste if there is a possibility for reusing, recycling or incinerating the waste. As of mid 1998, the Decree covered 35 types of waste including household waste, as well as tyres, car wrecks and remediable contaminated soil. The Waste Incineration (Air Emissions) Decree regulates incineration plants whilst the Landfill Decree includes rules for the establishment of landfills. The former sets some of the most stringent standards for incineration plant anywhere in the world. It is believed that the effects of legislation on the costs of final disposal have been important in promoting waste minimisation, re-use and recycling.

6.4.2. Market-based instruments

Market-based instrument
TitleTax on the landfill of waste
ScopeTax on the landfill of waste
Year1996
Transition periodNo information
Objectives• Reduction of waste generation by making waste disposal more expensive. • Making recycling and burning of waste more attractive than disposal. The tax is paid by all producers of waste, waste management enterprises.
TargetsNo information
DescriptionThe landfill tax was EUR 13.27 per tonne in 1995 when it was first introduced. It has now risen to EUR 85 per tonne in order to make landfill activities more expensive than incineration.
ImplementationEnvironmental Taxes Act (1995)
ResultBetween 1996 and 2004 the amount of landfilled waste decreased by approximately 60%, while the amount of waste incinerated increased by 50% and the recycling rate increased by approximately 20%. Expected is a further reduction to no landfilling of burnable waste in 2012.
Market-based instrument
TitleProducer responsibility for car wrecks, batteries, packaging waste, WEEE and other products
Scopecars, batteries, packaging waste, WEEE and others.
YearDepe
Transition periodNo information
ObjectivesEstablishment of responsibilities for waste recovery after the end of the life time of consumer products, financing state of the art recycling and encouraging design for recycling.
TargetsNo information
DescriptionThe cost of disposal is thus included in the product price, in several cases by means of a levy to be paid on the purchase of a new product (cars, WEEE). Producers carry (co)responsibility for the disposal of their product once it reaches the waste stage. In some cases producer responsibility has been organized on a voluntary basis (car wrecks), in other cases it is on the basis of statutory measures, or a mix of both. In all cases the aim is to give a strong incentive to prevention (quantitative or qualitative) and/or recycling, for which generally targets have been set.
ImplementationNo information
ResultNo information

Additional info

No information

6.4.3. Information-based instruments

Information-based instrument
TitleStimulating programme for waste separation and prevention of household waste
ScopePrevention of household waste
Year2001
Transition periodNo information
ObjectivesTo support the governmental parties in their common goal to achieve a better waste separation and prevention of household waste.
TargetsNo information
DescriptionWithin this programme all the governmental parties work together for prevention and a better separate collection of household waste. This is achieved by undertaking a lot of different projects every year. In these projects existing information is gathered and distributed to others. The idea is that the knowledge in practise (of prevention and separate collection) is a very important key for success. For prevention of household waste at least three very nice brochures have been developed for municipalities. The first one, titled “less litter for municipalities” published in 2002, gives municipalities an idea of how to avoid litter. The second one, titled “less waste for municipalities” also published 2002, gives municipalities ideas of how to avoid waste in general. And the third one (2003) is about the communication on waste (“communication of waste”). All of these brochures exemplifies many cases.
ImplementationNo information
ResultSince 2001, the amount of household waste has not increased while there has been a net increase of the economy. Until 2000 the increase in the amount of household waste equalled the increase in the economy.

Additional info

No information

6.4.4. Voluntary instruments

Additional info

No information

Results

Biodegradable municipal waste

No information

Construction and demolition waste

No information

Waste prevention

No information

7. Bibliography

No information

8. Country links to national waste information