As the coronavirus crisis is setting several challenges for public authorities in terms of waste management, the European Commission is providing some support with the publication of guidance documents.
Based on inputs received from Member States, stakeholders and other services of the European Commission, DG ENV published a document entitled "Waste management in the context of the coronavirus crisis". The document provides guidance, with a view to ensuring a high level of protection of human health and the environment, while preventing and reducing disruptions in the provision of proper waste management services. Regarding the management of municipal waste, it indicates that the "overall continuity of proper municipal waste management services, including separate collection and recycling, is to be safeguarded in line with EU law". It specifies that in case the service has to be reduced, the continuity and sufficient frequency of collection of residual waste and bio-waste should be ensured.
Another guidance document by the European Commission targets waste shipments and aims to ensure a common approach to securing the continuation of waste shipments across the EU while maintaining a high level of protection of public health and the environment. In this document, the Commission asks that "all Member States fully implement to waste shipments the recommendations on ensuring that all freight gets quickly to its destination without any delays and in particular to ensure that waste shipments have access to the ‘green lane’ border crossings."