The Commission is calling on Cyprus to correctly apply the Landfill Directive (Directive 1999/31/EC) and the Waste Framework Directive (Directive 2008/98/EC). The Landfill Directive sets standards for landfills to prevent adverse effects on human health, water, soil and air. Under this Directive, Member States must take measures to ensure that only waste that has been subject to treatment is landfilled. The European Green Deal and the Zero Pollution Action Plan set a zero pollution ambition for the EU, which benefits public health, the environment and climate neutrality.
In its judgement of 15 October 2014, the Court of Justice of the EU ruled that, before landfilling, waste must be treated in the most appropriate way to reduce negative impacts on the environment and human health as far as possible. Following this ruling, in 2015, the Commission launched a study to investigate the landfilling of untreated municipal waste in Member States. In Cyprus, the study revealed shortcomings in three of the five districts of the country. 21% of the total quantity of waste produced in Cyprus is landfilled without any pre-treatment and particularly in the district of Pafos where no pre-treatment is applied at all to the waste sent to the landfill. Furthermore, Cyprus has not established an integrated and adequate network of waste management installations for mixed municipal waste.
The Commission has therefore decided to send a letter of formal notice to Cyprus, which has two months to respond and address the shortcomings raised by the Commission. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion.