Review of the Dutch National Waste Management Plan

The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment commissioned CE Delft to carry out a succinct ex-post review of the National Waste Management Plan (LAP1, LAP2). The review was conducted by means of interviews, validation of results and re-working of earlier assessments. One of the aims of the review is to provide a basis for recommendations for a new ‘LAP3’ in 2015. The policy objectives of LAP1/LAP2 can be summarized under three headings: 

  1. Environmentally sounder processing of Dutch waste, conceptualized as moving up Lansink’s ladder, with an emphasis on drastically reducing the amount of waste landfilled or incinerated without energy production.

  2. Liberalization of the waste market (i.e. greater entrepreneurial freedom, no more central planning of incinerator capacity) and of trade (i.e. open borders for import/export of non-hazardous combustible waste for disposal by incineration).

  3. Nationwide harmonization of waste policies and regulations (eliminating provincial differences).

Most LAP1 and LAP2 targets achieved
Most of the quantitative targets of LAP1/LAP2 have been achieved. The volume of combustible waste going to landfill has been drastically reduced, energy output from incineration plants has risen, and useful application of waste has increased in percentage terms in various sectors. That three targets for useful application were secured, however, is a result of waste incinerators being assigned the so-called R1 status in 2010 and 2011. Without that status, targets for useful application of the total volumes of household and commercial waste would not have been met. The target for useful application of industrial waste was not achieved. The ‘chain projects’ for the 7 high-priority waste streams are yet to yield any significant quantitative results. The waste sector’s carbon emissions have declined by 60%. Air pollutant emissions have also generally fallen, although NOx emissions have started to rise again since 2005. The market has been liberalized. The total waste volume has also been decoupled from economic growth, as scheduled.