With the treatment of waste set to increase -- since the volume of waste is closely related to economic growth -- waste transport will be a major challenge in the future. This raises several issues. Should transport regulations be made more stringent and their implementation reviewed? Should the proximity principle -- incorporated in the regulations in the interests of environmental protection -- be questioned, since it prevents the consolidation of flows in sufficient volume to make the most environmentally-friendly modes of transport viable?
The environmental performance of waste transport can be established only within the framework of an overall approach which incorporates all waste treatment routes. We must indeed be wary of seemingly good ideas such as "waste transport must be restricted" or "recycling is the best solution". The closure of landfills or reprocessing could well lead to a large increase in waste transport.
The Round Table picks up on these issues and uses the cases of different countries to examine, in turn, developments in the waste transport sector and the statistical problems encountered in trying to understand them, the regulations applicable to the modes of transport used and their environmental performance, focusing closely on the difficulties created by the current modal split in this sector.