Austria shifts waste from trucks to tracks

2021/11/24 at 1:52 PM

Rail Cargo Group, the Austrian national railway undertaking, will increase the volumes of waste transported via the country’s tracks. This will result from the shift-to-rail policy being implemented by the authorities and the recent law amendments that reduce the distance for road haulage of waste.

Austria pays special attention to creating the conditions for sustainable land transport. In this regard, rail is a key to success. However, this will not happen without adequate legislation. To remedy the situation, the Austrian Parliament adopted the amendment to the Waste Management Act, which will shift more waste volumes from road to rail.

The document suggests that waste weighing over 10 tonnes should be moved for s specific distance by rail or other environmentally-friendly modes of transport. Year by year, the distance for road haulage will be gradually reduced to more than 300 kilometres in 2023, over 200 kilometres in 2024 and 100 kilometres starting from 2026.

Currently, Austria generates around 72 million tonnes of waste (the 2019 data). 80 per cent of this volume is moved by road transport. “There is a lot of potential here for shifting transport to rail and thus for an immediate reduction in CO2, fine dust and road noise in Austria,” Rail Cargo Group (RCG) stated. According to the company’s estimations, waste transport by rail can avoid 480,000 truck journeys and thus save 80,000 tons of CO2 annually.

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