Proposal put forward for end-of-waste criteria for copper scrap


End-of-waste criteria for scrap copper has been proposed by the Council of the European Union.

As a result of this, a specification has been proposed that means scrap copper is considered a product rather than a waste material.


Under the proposed regulation, scrap copper will be graded according to a customer specification or an industry specification or a standard for direct use in the production of metal substances or objects by smelters, refiners, remelters or other metals producers.

Despite a suggestion from some European Member States that up to 5 per cent contamination should be allowed, the Council said that the total amount of foreign materials should be less than 2 per cent by waste.

These foreign materials are described as metals other than copper and copper allows; non-metallic materials such as earth, dust insulation and glass; combustible non-metallic materials such as rubbers, plastic, fabric, wood and other chemical or organic substances; and slag, dross, skimming, baghouse dust, grinder dust and sludge.

European metal trade recycling body Eurometrec president Robert Voss said: “Eurometrec fully supports that the Council of the European Union came to an agreement on the proposed Council regulation establishing criteria determining when copper scrap ceases to be waste.

“Eurometrec thanks those Members States experts that also raised the 5 percent instead of the 2 per cent threshold

“Crucially, Eurometrec would not wast to see the regulation fail to get support at the Council on account of the threshold. After all, one of the regulation’s recitals allows for review of the criteria.”

Further details of the criteria are available at: