Waste

Today it is almost impossible not to come into contact with waste on a daily basis. Any consumption assumes the producing of waste on some level. To keep our environment decent and save natural resources, the producing of waste must be avoided as much as possible and the existing waste must be collected and managed in an environmentally friendly way.

Estonia’s goal in the area of waste is to recycle, as much as possible, the materials left over from consumption, i.e. waste. However, the most important thing is to avoid the producing of waste. Waste must be recycled and reused as new materials. The environmental risk coming from waste should also be decreased.

The Government’s new waste management plan for 2014–2020 mainly focuses on modern product design, clean resource-saving production and the recycling of already produced materials. Frugality, innovation, comfort and effectiveness – all four keywords that best capture the mood in the area of waste for the next seven years.

The effect on the environment should be minimised

Waste management is based on the hierarchy of waste management, i.e. the principle of minimising the effect of waste management on the environment as much as possible. The highest ranking solutions in the hierarchy should be given priority. The best solution is considered to be avoiding the producing of waste, whereas recycling is considered a lower priority solution. Methods of recycling include reuse, recycling of materials and energy production. Landfill disposal is considered to be the last solution in the hierarchy.

Recovery as a method of recycling is on the rise

In recent years, recovery of waste has escalated increasingly. Extended producers' responsibility and recycling organisations have been founded, who have, in turn, established networks for collecting and recovering electronic equipment waste as well as battery and accumulator waste, old tires and packaging. In addition, the number of collection and demolition sites for end-of-life vehicles complying with environmental requirements has also increased.

The amounts being landfilled are decreasing thanks to the obligation to collect waste separately and the limits to landfilling bio-waste; the gradual increase of the pollution tax as well as the intensive developing of new recovery methods such as mechanical-biological treatment and waste fuel production, mass incineration and biofuel production have also had a positive effect on the amounts of waste being landfilled.

In addition to recovering, actions supporting the avoidance/reduction of waste production are becoming increasingly important, gapping the connection between economic growth and waste production.

Industrial waste

Estonia continuously produces a large amount of waste including hazardous waste from the oil shale industry. New and better solutions for reducing and recycling waste are also being explored in this area.

One of the largest tasks Estonia must tackle is reducing the amount of oil shale waste. In 2007–2011, more than 85% of waste was industrial waste and 79% of the total amount of waste generated was related to oil shale extraction and the power industry. A large proportion of industrial waste also comes from the wood and cement industry, this is mainly sent to recycling.

New methods for reusing and recycling waste, such as producing building materials from old tires rubber mats and plastic waste, are continuously being developed. Biogas is produced from manure, slurry, landfill gas, sludge and bio-waste. The recycling of waste rock has also significantly increased – in 2010 and 2011 around 70% of waste rock was recycled in comparison to the previous 20%. For Estonia, the most important task is to find ways to increase the recycling of oil shale waste.

The state, enterprisers and citizens must all contribute to reach the goals set for recycling. Together, a cleaner environment and economy in using natural resources can be reached.

Producer responsibility

WEEE Directive is transposed into Estonian legislation through:

  1. Waste Act (definition of producer and product of concern, general obligations for producer);
  2. Regulation of Government No 65, 20.04.2009 (list of categories of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), targets for recycling and recovery and deadlines for achievement of these targets, requirements for returning WEEE to the producer);
  3. Regulation of Minister of Environment No 9, 09.02.2005 (requirements for treatment of WEEE);
  4. Regulation of Minister of Environment No 21, 27.04.2009 (requirements for labelling);
  5. Regulation of Government No 135, 23.07.2009 (Register of Product of Concern and registration of producers);
  6. Regulation of Minister of Environment No 12, 16.02.2011 (registration and reporting forms for Register of Register of Products of Concern);
  7. Regulation of Minister of Environment No. 57, 22.07.2013 (information for users and requirements for national public campaigns).


Producer of electrical and electronic equipments (EEE) is a person who regardless of the method of sale

  1. manufactures products under person's brand or has EEE designed or manufactured and markets it under person's name or brand in Estonia;
  2. resells under person's own name or brand products manufactured by others;
  3. imports products from third countries or another Member States on a professional basis into Estonia;
  4. sells EEE by means of distance communicaton directly to private households or to users other than private households in Estonia and is established in another Member State or in a third country.


Producer is not a person who finances under or pursuant to any finance agreement unless person also acts as a producer.

Retailer is a person who provides EEE on a commercial basis to the party who going to use it.

Product of concern is a product the waste resulting from which causes or may cause health or environmental hazards, environmental nuisances or excessive pollution of environment.

Products of concern are: batteries and accumulators, motor vehicles and their parts, tyres, EEE and their parts and agricultural plastic.

Electrical and electronic equipment is an equipment which is dependent on electric currents or electromagnetic fields in order to work properly and equipment for the generation, transfer and measurement of such currents and designed for use with a voltage rating not exceeding 1000 V for alternating current and 1500 V for direct current.

Place on the market: Product is placed on the market if that product is made available for a first time in the Estonian market for the purpose of distribution or putting it into service (made available for the third parties). Putting it into service means an activity which involves the use of product for the first time for its intended purpose. For example if product is brought from some Member State, then that product is placed on the market after all procedures are done (user's manual translated etc). If that product is brought for example from China or USA, then after that when all procedures related with Customs are done (filled declarations etc.) and it's possible to start to sell or use it. If product is just in bonded warehouse, that product is not placed on the market yet.


General requirements

By Waste Act, producer is required to ensure the collection, recycling, recovery or disposal of waste resulting from products of concern placed to the market (which are placed to the market after 12 August 2005) and shall have a sufficient guarantee for these obligations. Guarantee can be:
1) participation in collective schemes,
2) recycling insurance or
3) closed bank account.

Producer must bear all costs of collection and treatment of WEEE. Producers have also obligation to collect and treat all WEEE resulting from EEE placed on the market before 13 August 2005 (so called "historical waste"). Costs of such waste shall be divided between these producers who are in market now in proportion to their market share (by categories).


Producer shall set out the following information on electrical and electronic equipment intended for distribution:

  1. data which identify the producer;
  2. a separate collection mark by standard EVS-EN 50419 (to these equipments which are placed to the market after 12.08.2005);
  3. CE-marking.


That information must be clearly legible, indelible and visible until the equipment turns into waste.


Producer must provide information for users of electric and electronic equipment:

  1. return facilities (locations and telephone numbers where relevant information can be obtained);
  2. the potential effects on the environment and human health as a result of the presence of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment;
  3. the meaning of the separate collection mark.



Producers shall make available to the facilities engaged in the treatment of WEEE all information related to the reuse and processing of each new type of EEE that is placed to the market not later than one year after such equipment is placed on the market, indicating the components and materials of such equipment and specifying the location if hazardous substances and preparations contained therein.


Producers of EEE intended for household use shall be responsible for ensuring that such waste can be returned to the retailer free of charge on a one-to-one basis as long as the equipment is of equivalent type and has fulfilled the same functions as the supplied equipment. If there are no facilities for collection of WEEE within the radius of 10 km, producers shall be responsible for ensuring that such waste can be returned to the retailer free of charge on more than one-to-one basis as long as the equipment is of equivalent type and has fulfilled the same functions as the supplied equipment.

You can get information about collective schemes:

Registration

Producer has requirement to register with Register of Product of Concern  and report according to the Regulation of Government No 135, 23.07.2009 and Regulation of Minister of Environment No 30, 09.05.2011. Requirement to register entered into force on 13 February 2006. In the Register of Product of Concern must register all persons who manufacture, import or resell EEE ("producers").


There is 2 ways to submit application:

  1. through Internet (online) or
  2. digitally signed file via e-mail (possible only for persons having Estonian ID-card).


There is no fee for registration and reporting.

For registration producer must besides introducing data what kind of brands (s)he represents give affirmation about (financial) guarantee and affirmation that products do not contain certain restricted hazardous substances (according to RoHS Directive), description of national public information campaigns (for users of EEE) and waste management plan in which (s)he describes how (s)he collects WEEE and handles waste onward. Producer must also report amounts and quantities how much EEE (s)he manufactures, imports and/or place on the Estonian market and/or exports to another EU country or outside EU. Data have to be reported quarterly. Producer has to introduce every year a waste report (it has to be introduced quarterly).


With Register can only register these producers who have registered in Estonian Central Commercial Register. When producer is located permanently outside Estonia then (s)he can not register directly in Register.

Foreign producer has 2 options:

  1. found branch office or subsidiary in Estonia or
  2. appoint authorised representative.


Such solution solves the problem where we have to guarantee to foreign producers possibility to register and in the same time it forecloses necessity in case of infringement to turn to Court of that Member State where that producer is permanently located. If producer from outside Estonia (for example from Germany) do not fulfil some of his/her obligations (proportionally with his/her market share) then that Estonian producer who has some claims (for example financial) do not have to go to the Court of other Member State where that producer is located. And other reason is that Estonian enforcement authorities can not supervise these producers who have responsibilities in Estonia but are located in other location outside Estonia.


All the data in Register are public according to Public Information Act. It means data are attainable with restrictions for everyone in form of request for information. For example, it is not possible to get an information about market shares and guarantees or contracts or other information which contains commercial secret. Public are general data about amounts placed on the market and waste handling (summary of all data reported by all producers), description of national public information campaigns and waste management plans (except parts which contain commercial secret).


In Estonia, there is no Clearing House System. Producers have to divide the costs themselves and communicate with each other. For example if someone has collected more WEEE than (s)he place on the market, then it means that someone collected less than his/her market share is. And that producer who collected more presents a bill for payment to that one that collected less. If they do not get an agreement then the Court solves the problem.

Requirements for collection and treatment sites

For place of WEEE treatment, including collecting site are settled on certain requirements. Collection site must have weatherproof covering, impermeable surfaces and spillage collection facilities and, where appropriate, decanters and cleanser-degreasers. In addition, site of treatment must have balances, storage facility for disassembled spare parts and hazardous waste, containers for storage of batteries, PCBs and PCTs containing capacitors and other hazardous waste and radioactive waste and equipment for the treatment of waste water. Treatment facility ought to have waste permit or IPPC permit and hazardous waste handling licence.
 

Additional information

RoHS Directive is transposed into Estonian legislation through:

  1. Waste Act (general ban, general obligations for manufacturer, importer, distributor and authorised representative);
  2. Regulation of Minister of Environment No. 30, 09.05.2011 (RoHS exemptions) (replaces the Regulation of Government No. 154, 0607.2006).


Product of concern is a product the waste resulting from which causes or may cause health or environmental hazards, environmental nuisances or excessive pollution of environment.

Products of concern are: batteries and accumulators, motor vehicles and their parts, tyres, EEE and their parts and agricultural plastics.

Electrical and electronic equipment is an equipment which is dependent on electric currents or electromagnetic fields in order to work properly and equipment for the generation, transfer and measurement of such currents and fields and designed for use with a voltage rating not exceeding 1 000 volts for alternating current and 1 500 volts for direct current.

Dependent means, with regard to EEE, needing electric currents or electromagnetic fields to fulfil at least one intended function.

Place on the market: Product is placed on the market if that product is made available for a first time in the area of the European Community for the purpose of distribution or putting it into service (made available for the third parties). Putting it into service means an activity which involves the use of product for the first time for its intended purpose. For example if product is brought from some Member State then that product is already placed on the market, but if that product is brought for example from China or USA then after that when all procedures related with Customs are done (filled declarations etc.) and it is possible to start to sell or use it. If product is just in bonded warehouse then that product is not placed on the market yet.

Obligations

Obligations of manufcturer are provided by section 2610 of Waste Act.
Obligations of authorised representative are provided by section 2611 of Waste Act.
Obligations of importer are provided by section 2612 of Waste Act.
Obligations of distributor are provided by section 2613 of Waste Act.

Prohibitions

It is prohibited to place to the market EEE or their parts containing the following substances:

  1. more than 0,1 per cent mercury or its compounds by weight;
  2. more than 0,01 per cent cadmium or its compounds by weight;
  3. more than 0,1 per cent lead or its compounds by weight;
  4. more than 0,1 per cent hexavalent chromium compounds by weight;
  5. more than 0,1 per cent poly-brominated biphenyls (PBB) by weight;
  6. more than 0,1 per cent poly-brominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) by weight.


The prohibition applies to EEE which belong to categories 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10.

All exemptions are provided in Regulation of Minister of Environment No. 30, 09.05.2011.
Guidance for CE-marking and scope you can find from here.
 

Additional information

Battery Directive 2006/66/EC is transposed into Estonian legislation through:

  1. Waste Act (definition of producer and product of concern, general obligations for producer, general requirements for waste handling);
  2. Regulation of Government No. 135, 23.07.2009 (Register of Product of Concern and registration of producers);
  3. Regulation of Minister of Environment No. 5, 10.01.2008 (requirements for treatment of batteries);
  4. Regulation of Minister of Environment No. 64, 21.12.2007 (requirements for labelling batteries);
  5. Regulation of Government No. 124, 07.08.2008 (requirements for collection and returning the batteries, collection rates and targets for recycling and recovery, deadlines for achievement of rates and targets);
  6. Regulation of Minister of Environment No. 12, 16.02.2011 (registration and reporting forms for Register of Products of Concern);
  7. Regulation of Minister of Environment No. 30, 09.05.2011 (restricted hazardous substances and exemptions);
  8. Regulation of Minister of Environment No. 57, 22.07.2013 (information fo users and requirements for public information cmpaigns).


Producer of batteries and accumulators is a person who regardless of the method of sale manufactures batteries or accumulators or imports them into Estonia on the professional basis.
Producer is not a person who finances under or pursuant to any finance agreement unless person also acts as a producer.

Retailer is a person who provides batteries and accumulators on a commercial basis to the party who going to use it.

Economic operator is producer, collector, recycler or other treatment operator.

Product of concern is a product the waste resulting from which causes or may cause health or environmental hazards, environmental nuisances or excessive pollution of environment.
Products of concern are batteries and accumulators, motor vehicles and their parts, tyres and electrical and electronic equipments (EEE) and their parts and agricultural plastics.

Battery or accumulator means a source of electrical energy generated by direct conversion of chemical energy and consisting of one or more non-rechargeable batteries or rechargeable cells.

Portable battery or accumulator means any battery, button cell, battery pack or accumulator that is sealed, can be hand-carried, is neither an industrial battery or accumulator nor an automotive battery or accumulator.

Automotive battery or accumulator means any battery or accumulator used for automotive starter, lighting or ignition power.

Industrial battery or accumulator means any battery or accumulator designed for exclusively industrial or professional uses or used in any type of electric vehicle.

Place on the market: according to Estonian law product is placed on the Estonian market if that product is made available for the first time for the purpose of distribution or putting it into service (made available for the third parties). Putting it into service means an activity which involves the use of product for the first time for its intended purpose. If that product is brought for example from China or USA, then after that when all procedures related with Customs are done (filled declarations etc.) and it is possible to start to sell or use it. If product is just in bonded warehouse, then that product is not placed on the market yet.

Registration

Producer has requirement to register in Register of Product of Concern (http://proto.keskkonnainfo.ee) and introduce data according to the Regulation of Government No 135, 23.07.2009. Requirement to register entered into force on 13 February 2006. With the Register of Product of Concern must register all producers who place batteries or accumulators on the Estonian market.


There is 2 ways to submit application (and later reports):

1) through Internet or
2) digitally signed file via e-mail (possible only for persons having Estonian ID-card).

There is no fee for registration and any other annual fee.

 
For registration producer must besides introducing data what kind of brands (s)he represents give affirmation about (financial) guarantee and affirmation that products do not contain certain restricted hazardous substances (according to section 27 of Waste Act), description of public information campaigns (for users of batteries) and waste management plan in which (s)he describes how (s)he collects waste batteries and accumulators and handles waste onward. Producer must also report amounts how much batteries and accumulators (s)he manufactures, imports and/or place on the Estonian market. Data needs to be introduced quarterly. Producer also has to introduce every year waste report and it has to be introduced quarterly as well.


In Register can only register these producers who have registered in Estonian Central Commercial Register. When producer are located permanently outside Estonia then (s)he can not register directly in Register.

Producer has 2 options:
1) found a branch office or subsidiary in Estonia or
2) appoint authorised representative.


Such solution solves the problem where we have to guarantee to foreign producers possibility to register and in the same time it forecloses necessity in case of infringement to turn to Court of that Member State where that producer is located. If producer from outside Estonia (for example in Germany) does not fulfil some of his/her obligations (proportionally his/her market share) then that Estonian producer who has some claims (for example financial) do not have to go to the Court of other Member State where that producer is located. And other reason is that our Environmental Inspectorate can not supervise these producers who have responsibilities in Estonia, but they are located in other location outside Estonia.

All the data in Register are public according to Public Information Act. It means data are attainable with restrictions for everyone in form of request for information. For example, it is not possible to get an information about market shares, guarantees and contracts or information which contains commercial secret. Public are general data about amounts placed to the market and waste handling (summary of all data reported by all producers), description of information campaigns and waste management plans (except parts which contain commercial secret).


In Estonia, there is no Clearing House System. Producers have to divide the costs themselves and communicate with each other. For example if someone has collected more waste batteries than (s)he place on the market then it means that someone collected less than his/her market share is. And that producer who collected more presents a bill for payment to that one that collected less. If they do not get an agreement then the Court solves the problem.

Additional information

Financial guarantees and requirements for collection

By Waste Act producer is required to ensure the collection, recycling, recovery or disposal of waste resulting from products of concern placed on the market and shall have a sufficient guarantee for these obligations.

Guarantee can be:
1) participation in collective schemes,
2) recycling insurance or
3) closed bank account.
Producer must bear all costs of collection and treatment of waste batteries and accumulators. Producers have also obligation to collect and treat all waste batteries and accumulators resulting from batteries and accumulators irrespective of the date when these batteries or accumulators were placed on the market.

Producer shall take back free of charge waste portable and motor vehicle's batteries and accumulators through retailers (points of sale) irrespective of that will consumer (end-user) buy new battery or accumulator or will not. Producer shall supply retailer with appropriate container(s). Producer of industrial batteries or accumulators cannot refuse to take back waste industrial batteries or accumulators from end-user regardless of chemical composition and origin. Producer is also obliged to take back free of charge waste portable and automotive batteries and accumulators from municipalities and from waste handler who has contract under public law with local government to operate the waste station (owned by local municipality). The producer of EEE and motor vehicle is obliged to take back the battery or accumulator free of charge if it is in appliance or motor vehicle.

Other undertaking can also collect the batteries and accumulators. They should ensure that end-users can take free of charge portable and automotive batteries and accumulators to their collection points. Producer is not obliged to take back free of charge waste batteries and accumulators from such undertaking (waste handler).

Collection rate and recycling targets

Collection rate – means, in a given calendar year, the percentage obtained by dividing the weight of waste batteries and accumulators collected in that calendar year by the average weight of batteries and accumulators that producers either sell directly to consumer or deliver to third parties in order to sell them to consumers during that calendar year and the preceding two calendar years.

Collection rate for waste portable batteries and accumulators which producer needs to achieve are:
1) at least 25% by 26 September 2012 and
2) at least 45% by 26 September 2016.

Collection rates for automotive batteries and accumulators which producer needs to achieve are:
1) at least 75% by 26 September 2012 and
2) at least 90% by 26 September 2016.

Economic operator shall achieve the following minimum recycling efficiencies:
1) recycling of 65% by average weight of lead-acid batteries and accumulators, including recycling of the lead content to the highest degree that is technically feasible while avoiding excessive costs;
2) recycling of 75% by average weight of nickel-cadmium batteries and accumulators, including recycling of the cadmium content to the highest degree that is technically feasible while avoiding excessive costs; and
3) recycling of 50% by average weight of other waste batteries and accumulators.

Requirements for information and information campaigns

In every point of sale where can buy portable or automotive batteries and accumulators should be a sign where is written that in that point of sale can bring back waste batteries and accumulators. If there is container for batteries and accumulators and consumer can see it when (s)he enters to the point of sale, then the sign is not needed.

At least once in a year producer has to make public information campaign through different media channels like TV, radio, county newspapers or outdoor advertisers.

Through information campaign producer has to inform consumers of batteries and accumulators:
1) the potential effects on the environment and human health of the substances used in batteries and accumulators;
2) the desirability of not disposing of waste batteries and accumulators as unsorted municipal waste and of participating in their separate collection so as to facilitate treatment and recycling;
3) the collection and recycling schemes available to them;
4) their role in contributing to the recycling of waste batteries and accumulators;
5) the meaning of the symbol of the crossed-out wheeled bin and the chemical symbols Hg, Cd and Pb.

Producers can organise common information campaigns for saving costs. Obligation of information campaigns entered into force in 1 January 2009.

Requirements for labelling

All batteries and accumulators placed on the market have to be marked with the symbol of separate collection mark.

Producer has to ensure that all batteries and accumulators placed on the market are marked with the chemical symbol Hg, if battery, accumulator or button cell contains more than 0,0005% mercury; with the symbol Cd, if battery, accumulator or button cell contains more than 0,002% cadmium; with the symbol Pb, if battery, accumulator or button cell contains more than 0,004% lead.

Producer has to ensure that on all portable and automotive batteries and accumulators are indicated their capacity.

All marks mentioned above have to be printed visibly, legibly and indelibly.

Restricted substances

Same requirements as provided in Directive 2006/66/EU. All are listed in the Regulation of Minister of Environment No. 30, 09.05.2011.

Requirements for treatment facility and storage place

For treatment facilities and storage places (including temporary storage places) are provided certain requirements. Treatment facility and storage place ought to have impermeable surface and weatherproof covering besides general requirements for treatment facilities and storage places provided by Waste Act. Waste batteries and accumulators can storage also in suitable containers. Suitable container is closed container which is weatherproof, impermeable, acid-proof and from where third persons cannot take the batteries out without using special tools or breaking the container.

Treatment facility must have waste permit or IPPC permit and hazardous waste handling licence.

There is two Estonian collective schemes of WEEE who collect waste portable batteries and accumulators: MTÜ EES-Ringlus and MTÜ Eesti Elektroonikaromu. All collected waste portable batteries and accumulators are treated outside Estonia, most of waste automotive batteries and accumulators are treated in Estonia (in AS Ecometal).


You can get information about collective schemes of WEEE:
MTÜ EES-Ringlus,
MTÜ Eesti Elektroonikaromu.

ELV Directive is transposed into Estonian legislation through:

  1. Waste Act (definition of producer and product of concern, general obligations for producer);
  2. Regulation of Minister of Environment No 33, 16.06.2011 (requirements for treatment of ELV);
  3. Regulation of Government No 79, 17.07.2010 (specifies which vehicles belong under producer responsibility, targets for recycling and recovery and deadlines for achievement of these targets, requirements for returning ELV to the producer);
  4. Regulation of Minister of Government No 47, 09.09.2011 (labelling of certain parts);
  5. Regulation of Government No 135, 23.07.2009 (Register of Product of Concern and registration of producers);
  6. Regulation of Minister of Environment No 12, 16.02.2011 (registration and reporting forms for Register of Products of Concern);
  7. Regulation of Minister of Environment No 30, 09.05.2011 (restricted substances and exemptions);
  8. Regulation of Minister of Environment No 57, 22.07.2013 (information to the users and requirements for public information campaigns).

Producer of motor vehicle is a person who regardless of the method of sale manufactures motor vehicles or imports them into Estonia on the professional basis.

Producer is not a person who finances under or pursuant to any finance agreement unless person also acts as a producer.

Product of concern is a product the waste resulting from which causes or may cause health or environmental hazards, environmental nuisances or excessive pollution of environment.

Products of concern are batteries and accumulators, motor vehicles and their parts, tyres, electrical and electronical equipments (EEE) and their parts and agricultural plastic.

Motor vehicle means a four-wheeled power-driven vehicle as defined in the Traffic Act or a three-wheeled motor vehicle except a motor tricycle. Regulation of Government No 79 specifies that is any vehicle designated as category M1, N1, L2e.

Place on the market: according to Estonian law product is placed on the Estonian market if that product is made available for the first time for the purpose of distribution or putting it into service (made available for the third parties). Putting it into service means an activity which involves the use of product for the first time for its intended purpose. If product is brought for example from China or USA, then the product is placed on the market after that when all procedures related with Customs are done (filled declarations etc.) and it is possible to start to sell or use it. If product is just in bonded warehouse, then that product is not placed on the market yet.

Collection of ELV

By Waste Act producer is required to ensure the collection, recycling, recovery or disposal of waste resulting from products of concern placed to the market and shall have a sufficient guarantee for these obligations.

Guarantee can be:
1) participation in collective schemes,
2) recycling insurance or
3) closed bank account.

Producer must bear all costs of collection and treatment of ELV.


Producers have also obligation to collect and treat all ELV resulting from vehicles placed to the market before 1st January 2005 (so called "historical waste"). Costs of such waste shall be divided between these producers who are in market now in proportion to their market share.

The collecting and take back must be organized so that there is a collection site in every county (Estonia has 15 counties) (it is a minimum requirement). Certificate of destruction is submitted to the Traffic Register for deregistration of vehicle electronically, there is no certificate on paper.Vehicle is deregistered when certificate of destruction is entered to the Traffic Register.

Producers must provide dismantling information for each type of new vehicle placed to the market within six months after the vehicle is placed to the market.

Additional information

Restrictions for motor vehicles and their parts

It is prohibited to place on the market motor vehicles or their parts containing the following substances:
1) more than 0,1 per cent mercury or its compounds by weight;
2) more than 0,01 per cent cadmium or its compounds by weight;
3) more than 0,1 per cent lead or its compounds by weight;
4) more than 0,1 per cent hexavalent chromium compounds by weight.

All exemptions are provided in the Regulation of Minister of Environment No. 30, 09.05.2011.

Registration

Producer has requirement to register in Register of Product of Concern and introduce data according to the Regulation of Government No 135, 23.07.2009. Requirement to register entered into force on 13 February 2006. With the Register of Product of Concern must register all producers who place on the market EEE, motor vehicles and (their) spare parts, tyres, batteries and accumulators and/or agricultural plastic.


There is 2 ways to submit application:
1) through Internet or
2) digitally signed file via e-mail (possible only for persons having Estonian ID-card).

There is no fee for registration and any other annual fee.


For registration producer must besides introducing data what kind of brands (s)he represents give affirmation about (financial) guarantee and affirmation that products do not contain certain restricted hazardous substances (according to article 4 (2) of ELV Directive), description of information campaigns (for users of vehicles) and waste management plan in which (s)he describes how (s)he collects ELVs or spare parts and handles waste onward. Producer must also report amounts how much motor vehicles and their parts (s)he manufactures, imports and/or place on the Estonian market. Data needs to be introduced annualy. Producer also has to introduce every year annual waste report.


In Register can only register these producers who have registered in Estonian Central Commercial Register. When producer are located permanently outside Estonia, (s)he cannot register directly in Register.

Such producer has 2 options:
1) make branch office or subsidiary in Estonia or
2) appoint authorised representative.

Such solution solves the problem where we have to guarantee to foreign producers possibility to register and in the same time it forecloses necessity in case of infringement to turn to Court of that state where that producer is located. If producer from outside Estonia (for example in Germany) do not fulfil some of his/her obligations (proportionally with his/her market share) then that Estonian producer who has some claims (for example financial) does not need to go to the Court of other Member State where that producer is located. And other reason is that our enforcement authorities can not supervise these producers who have responsibilities in Estonia, but they are located in other location outside Estonia.

All the data in Register are public according to Public Information Act. It means data are attainable with restrictions for everyone in form of request for information. For example, it is not possible to get an information about market shares, guarantees and contracts and any other information containing commercial secret. Public are general data about amounts placed on the market and waste handling (summary of all data reported by all producers), description of information campaigns and waste management plans (except parts which contain commercial secret).

In Estonia, there is no Clearing House System. Producers have to divide the costs themselves and communicate with each other. For example if someone has collected more ELVs than (s)he placed to the market then it means that someone collected less than his/her market share is. And that producer who collected more presents a bill for payment to that one that collected less. If they do not get an agreement then the Court solves the problem.

Requirements for treatment facilities and collection sites

For treatment facilities, including collection sites are provided certain requirements. Collection site (and sites for storage) must have fence, guard for 24 h and control instruments, impermeable surfaces and spillage collection facilities and, where appropriate, decanters and cleanser-degreasers. In addition, site of treatment must have balances, storage facility for disassembled spare parts and hazardous waste, containers for storage of accumulators, filters, PCBs and PCTs containing capacitors and other hazardous waste, storage tanks for fluids and gases, storage for used tyres and other inflammable parts and equipment for the treatment of waste water. Treatment facility must have waste permit or IPPC permit and hazardous waste handling licence.

Most of Estonian dismantling facilities are small ones. One of them (AS Kuusakoski) has a shredder.

Legislation which regulates handling of waste tyres:

  1. Waste Act (definition of producer and product of concern, general obligations for producer);
  2. Regulation of Government No. 80, 17.07.2010 (requirements for take back and collection of waste tyres);
  3. Regulation of Government No. 135, 23.07.2009 (Register of Product of Concern and registration of producers);
  4. Regulation of Minister of Environment No. 12, 16.02.2011 (registration and reporting format for Register of Products of Concern);
  5. Regulation of Minister of Environment No. 57, 22.07.2013 (information to the users and public information campaigns).


Tyre is a tyre of any motor vehicle and trailer which participate in road traffic.

Producer of tyre is a person who regardless of the method of sale manufactures tyres or imports them into Estonia on the professional basis.

Producer is not a person who finances under or pursuant to any finance agreement unless person also acts as a producer.

Product of concern is a product the waste resulting from which causes or may cause health or environmental hazards, environmental nuisances or excessive pollution of environment.

Products of concern are batteries and accumulators, motor vehicles and their parts, tyres, electrical and electronical equipments (EEE) and their parts and agricultural plastic.

Place on the market: product is placed on the Estonian market if that product is made available for the first time for the purpose of distribution or putting it into service (made available for the third parties). Putting it into service means an activity which involves the use of product for the first time for its intended purpose. If product is brought for example from China or USA then the product is placed on the market after that when all procedures related with Customs are done (filled declarations etc.) and it is possible to start to sell or use it. If product is just in bonded warehouse then that product is not placed on the market yet.

Collection of waste tyres

By Waste Act producer is required to ensure the collection, recycling, recovery or disposal of waste resulting from products of concern placed to the market and shall have a sufficient financial guarantee for these obligations.

Guarantee can be:
1) participation in collective schemes,
2) recycling insurance or
3) closed bank account.

Producer must bear all costs of collection and treatment of waste tyres.

Producers have also obligation to collect and treat all waste tyres irrespective when these tyres were placed on the market.

The producer must build collection points for accepting waste tyres in each county in Estonia, considering the population density and the requirement that handover of the waste tyres be as convenient as possible. There have to be collection points in every city, town and small town at least with 1500 inhabitants.

Additional information

Legislation which regulates handling of waste agricultural plastic

Agricultural plastic is a plastic used in agriculture or gardening – any plastic for silage, plastic for greenhouse and plastic string.

Producer of agricultural plastic is a person who regardless of the method of sale manufactures agricultural plastic or imports them into Estonia on the professional basis.

Producer is not a person who finances under or pursuant to any finance agreement unless person also acts as a producer.

Product of concern is a product the waste resulting from which causes or may cause health or environmental hazards, environmental nuisances or excessive pollution of environment.

Products of concern are batteries and accumulators, motor vehicles and their parts, tyres, electrical and electronical equipments (EEE) and their parts and agricultural plastic.

Place on the market: Product is placed on the Estonian market if that product is made available for the first time for the purpose of distribution or putting it into service (made available for the third parties). Putting it into service means an activity which involves the use of product for the first time for its intended purpose. If product is brought for example from China or USA then the product is placed on the market after that when all procedures related with Customs are done (filled declarations etc.) and it is possible to start to sell or use it. If product is just in bonded warehouse, that product is not placed on the market yet. The same if product is brought from Member State - product is placed on the market, if all relevant procedures are made and it is possible to start to sell or use it.

Collection of waste agricultural plastic

By Waste Act producer is required to ensure the collection, recycling, recovery or disposal of waste resulting from products of concern placed to the market and shall have a sufficient financial guarantee for these obligations.

Guarantee can be:

  • participation in collective schemes,
  • recycling insurance or
  • closed bank account.

Producer must bear all costs of collection and treatment of waste agricultural plastic.

Producers have also obligation to collect and treat all waste agricultural plastic irrespective when these plastic were placed on the market.

The producer must build collection points for accepting waste agricultural plastic in each county in Estonia, considering the population density and the requirement that handover of the waste agricultural plastic as convenient as possible. There should be at least one collection point in a county. Additionally, it is allowed to collect waste agricultural plastic by user of agricultural plastic.

Collection rate and recycling target

Producer has to ensure that 70% of waste agricultural plastic will be collected comparing with agricultural plastic placed on the market in previous calendar year.

Producer has to recover all collected waste agricultural plastic, including 50% of recycling of all collected waste agricultural plastic.

Registration

Producer has requirement to register in Register of Product of Concern and introduce data about amounts of products of concern placed on the market and amounts of waste generated from products of concern collected and treated. With the Register of Product of Concern must register all producers who place on the market EEE, motor vehicles and (their) spare parts, tyres, batteries and accumulators and/or agricultural plastic.


There is 2 ways to submit application:

  1. through Internet or
  2. digitally signed file via e-mail (possible only for persons having Estonian ID-card).

There is no fee for registration and any other annual fee.

For registration producer must besides introducing data what kind of brands (s)he represents give affirmation about financial guarantee, description of how information is given for users and waste management plan in which (s)he describes how (s)he collects waste agricultural plastic and handles waste onward. Producer must also report amounts how much plastic (s)he manufactures, imports and/or place on the Estonian market. Data needs to be introduced quarterly. Producer also has to introduce every year waste report (it has to be introduced quarterly).

In Register can only register those producers who have registered in Estonian Central Commercial Register. When producer are located permanently outside Estonia, (s)he cannot register directly in Register. Such producer has 2 options:

  1. make branch office or subsidiary in Estonia or
  2. appoint authorised representative.


Such solution solves the problem where we have to guarantee to foreign producers (distant sellers) possibility to register and in the same time it forecloses necessity in case of infringement to turn to Court of that state where that producer is located. If producer from outside Estonia (for example in Germany) do not fulfill some of his/her obligations (proportionally with his/her market share) then that Estonian producer who has some claims (for example financial) does not need to go to the Court of other Member State where that producer is located. And other reason is that our enforcement authorities can not supervise these producers who have responsibilities in Estonia, but they are located in other location outside Estonia.

All the data in Register are public according to Public Information Act. It means data are attainable with restrictions for everyone in form of request for information. For example, it is not possible to get an information about market shares, financial guarantees or contracts and any other information containing commercial secret. Public are general data about amounts placed on the market and waste handling (summary of all data reported by all producers), description of information campaigns and waste management plans (except parts which contain commercial secret).

In Estonia, there is no Clearing House System. Producers have to divide the costs themselves and communicate with each other. For example if someone has collected more waste agricultural plastic than (s)he placed on the market, then it means that someone collected less than his/her market share is. And that producer who collected more presents a bill for payment to that one that collected less. If they do not get an agreement then the Court solves the problem.

Requirements for treatment facilities and collection sites

There are general requirements for collection points and treatment facilities.

Requirements for information for users

Every producer has to ensure together with retailers that in every selling point are available information where are located nearest collection points for waste agricultural plastic and how users can participate in collection of waste agricultural plastic.

Act in time and be aware!

It is easy to transfer a vehicle. If a new owner fails to enter the data in the traffic register and the vehicle is transferred, the previous owner remains as a registered owner. Hundreds of applications are submitted to the traffic register each year for removing a vehicle without a certificate of destruction. There are 180,946 vehicles in the inactive section of the traffic register. Vehicles in the inactive section are over 10 years old, have gone without a technical inspection for years, do not have motor insurance, and the use of such vehicles in traffic is technically impossible.

Be aware of the hazards

Unawareness causes vehicle owners to leave a vehicle to decay or sell it to illegal demolishers.

  • Scrap cars qualify as hazardous waste because they contain fluids and hazardous parts.
  • Illegal waste management establishments demolish vehicles without an impermeable surfacing, and they do not own a rainwater harvesting system nor an oil separator, ultimately endangering groundwater and the health of people.
  • Illegal waste management establishments may intentionally burn the waste; improper storing of waste may cause fires.
  • Non-compliant processing of gas in an air conditioning may endanger the health of people.

Never sell your unusable vehicle to an illegal waste manager!

  • An illegal demolisher will not issue a certificate of destruction to the vehicle owner nor enter themselves into the traffic register as a new owner.
  • If you sell your unusable vehicle to an illegal demolisher, the vehicle is transferred in the traffic register without amending the owner. Most likely, you will remain as the owner, having to deal with unpleasant consequences, e.g. compulsory insurance, and violating the requirements of the Waste Act.
  • If you notice an illegal demolition establishment, notify the Environmental Inspectorate (write to valve@kki.ee or call 1313).

Requirements pursuant to the Waste Act

  • A waste holder is required to handle the waste in their possession according to the established requirements or transfer the waste for handling to a person holding the corresponding right.
  • A person transferring waste must, under the circumstances, be convinced that the transferee holds an environment protection permit granting the right to handle the waste transferred.
  • The liability of a waste holder for handling the waste shall be terminated or transferred if the new waste holder has an environment protection permit for handling the corresponding type of waste.
  • If the waste holder delivers the waste for handling to a person not holding the corresponding right, the waste holder will be liable for the waste handling.
  • Pursuant to the Waste Act, a violation of requirements for waste management through the transfer of waste for handling to person without a waste permit constitutes a misdemeanour (section 125 of the Waste Act).
  • It is forbidden to remove a vehicle from the traffic register without a required certification of destruction.
  • Motor vehicles and parts thereof qualify as products of concern. A product of concern means a product the waste resulting from which causes or may cause health or environmental hazards, environmental nuisances, or excessive pollution of the environment.
  • Collecting and handling scrap cars requires a waste permit that is issued by the Environmental Board pursuant to subsection 76 (1) of the Waste Act. It is forbidden to collect scrap cars without a waste permit!

Solution

Scrap cars are hazardous waste and must be handled pursuant to legally established requirements and in an environmentally sustainable manner. A vehicle that is removed from use is removed from the register pursuant to a certificate of destruction that is issued by a treatment facility with an environmental permit. A treatment facility with an environmental permit is capable of reusing your vehicle.

In 2018, a total of 87% of the collected scrap cars were recycled and 91.2% recovered. Recyclable parts of scrap cars include tyres, oil filters, batteries, glass, and metal, while plastic parts and liquids are directed to energy recovery. Some scrap cars also allow the maintenance of environmental resources by reusing spare parts.

From 18 November to 2 December, the Estonian Automotive Recyclers’ Association, Kuusakoski AS, and BLRT Refonda offer free removal of scrap cars across Estonia.

After handling, Kuusakoski, the Estonian Automotive Recyclers’ Association, and BLRT Refonda issue an electronic certificate of destruction to the traffic register of the Road Administration that is the basis for removing the vehicle from the database.
More information on the scrap car campaign is available at
Estonian Automotive Recyclers’ Association, phone number 57877233, (https://elv.ee/viime-romu-tasuta-ara/)
Kuusakoski, free short number 13660, (https://www.kuusakoski.com/et/estonia/)
BLRT Refonda, free short number 1817, (https://www.refonda.ee/et/)


Remember that when you hand over a scrap car, you need to submit the following documents:

  • registration certificate of the vehicle (technical passport);
  • an identity document of the person transferring the vehicle;
  • a contract of purchase and sale (if the vehicle is transferred by someone other than the owner);
  • a power of attorney of the owner (if the vehicle is transferred by someone other than the owner);

After you have sold your car, make sure that the required amendments are made in the traffic register. Vehicles that are no longer used are removed from the traffic register pursuant to a certificate of destruction.

Within the scrap campaign, 250 end-of-life vehicles were collected in 2018, whereas Kuusakoski and the Estonian Automotive Recyclers’ Association collected 430 vehicles in 2019. BLRT Refonda, the Estonian Automotive Recyclers’ Association, and Kuusakoski issue a certificate of demolition for your motor vehicle and offer your car a new life!

Last updated: 15.07.2021