Apparently, sending waste out of the EU to be disposed of is rife - legally and otherwise - due to the EU's massively restrictive anti-waste laws.
Isn't that a tendentious formulation?
Anyway, the laws aren't just 'anti-waste' (that'd be on the minimization of waste by reducing its 'production') but - in good European administrative tradition - by defining what is 'waste' and what is 'scrap' and thus resource!
And while waste must be disposed of (in principal locally), resources can be traded globally...
But, complicated laws notwithstanding, I will not blame the EU for the abuse, misuse, criminal profiteering - and I cannot see the North Americans as glorious examples for being 'less restrictive' in this context.
No contradiction on the abundance of red tape - but one could concede that more often than not this is due to 27 variations and exemptions requested by members on originally simple and basically good intentions for purely national ego (=> electoral public).