Waste recovery means any waste management operation the principal result of which is waste serving a useful purpose by replacing other materials which would otherwise have been used to fulfil a particular function, or waste being prepared to fulfil that function, in the plant or in the wider economy.
Waste recovery involves essentially different activities:
- Preparing of waste for re-use means checking, cleaning or repairing recovery operations, by which products or components of products that have become waste are prepared so that they can be re-used for the original purpose without any other pre-processing. Operation codes R3k, R5k, R9.
In order to prepare waste for re-use, a waste permit must be requested from the Estonian Environmental Board for the re-use of waste or one must register their activities as a waste handler.
- Recycling, including ‘organic recycling’ means a waste recovery operation by which waste materials are reprocessed into products, materials or substances whether for the original or other purposes. This does not include energy recovery and the reprocessing into materials that are to be used as fuels or for backfilling operations. Operation codes R3o, R3m, R3f, R5m, R5o, R5c, R5f, R5l, R6.
Recycling is any form of physical, chemical or biological waste management which results in a material no longer being waste but a compliant product. Producing fuel from waste, energy recovery (R1) or filling excavation voids with waste are not considered recycling. Similarly, waste treatment that does not result in the production of a product but waste remaining waste as a result of the waste management operation is not considered recycling and is referred to as preparing waste for re-use.
For waste recycling, a waste permit or an integrated environmental permit must be requested from the Estonian Environmental Board. In order to demonstrate that waste has been recycled as a result of a waste management operation in accordance with Section 15(4) of the Waste Act, verification documents required by the above-mentioned regulations, legislation or standards must be submitted to the Environmental Board together with the application for a waste permit or an integrated environmental permit. E.g. a product certificate, declaration of performance, production control certificate, etc.
- Other waste recovery, preparing for re-use
Energy recovery means a waste recovery operation where combustible waste is used as a means to produce energy through incineration of this waste, with or without other waste or fuel, with recovery of the generated heat. Operation code R1.
Preparing of waste for re-use means the pre-treatment of waste, the final product of which is waste, compounds, or mixtures that are subsequently re-used. Operation codes R12o, R12x, R12y, R12p, R12s.
Filling or backfilling of excavation voids – e.g. the use of construction waste to fill the ground or shape the ground into a landform. Operation code R5m.
For waste re-use, a waste permit or an integrated environmental permit must be requested from the Estonian Environmental Board or one must register their activity as a waste handler, depending on the type of waste and activity.