Innovation: Environmental Policy Support Tool For Recycling In Islands

Last update: 29.06.2013
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waste management‚ survey‚ island‚ electrical industry‚ packaging‚ comparison‚
Small island countries are characterised by a small size of population and land area and they generate a relatively limited volume of waste. These characteristics make waste management relatively expensive and can render the implementation of specific waste recovery and recycling schemes economically unfeasible. Small islands often rely more on exporting waste for recycling. However, this also comes with accompanying transport-related costs and environmental impacts.Packaging Waste (PW) comprises an increasing proportion of non-degradable plastics and accounts for approximately half the volume of municipal waste in Western Europe. Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) causes major environmental problems, due to the high content of heavy metals and various halogenated substances. Volumes of discarded WEEE are increasing by 3-5 % per year.EU Directives on PW and WEEE call for measures to prevent waste, restrict hazardous substances, and establish collection for re-use and recycling. However their implementation is particularly challenging for Cyprus and Malta - the first small island Member States to join the EU – which are a long way behind other EU countries. Greece also faces difficulties because of its tremendous number of islands of different sizes and characteristics. France has the challenge of some of its territory being several small islands which are very far away.
The REPT project aimed to address the specific problems related to waste management in small islands and support the member states competent authorities for the better design and implementation of recycling policies to meet the requirements of the EU Directives on Packaging Waste (PW) and Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE).To achieve this, it planned to develop a specific Decision Support Tool (DST) to enable national authorities and other involved stakeholders to calculate the environmental benefit and financial cost of alternative waste management systems on islands and thus take decisions to enhance environmental performance in the waste recovery and recycling sectors.The DST aimed to serve the circumstances of each of the four partner countries: the small islands of Cyprus and Malta as well as the larger countries Greece and France. An important challenge for the project to address was to be the lack of availability of comparable data between the countries around recycling of WEEE and financial costs.
The REPT project successfully developed and implemented a pilot Decision Support Tool (DST) for the assessment of environmental and financial aspects of waste recovery and recycling on islands. This has provided a valuable tool to support the member states competent authorities in designing and implementing better recycling policies in accordance with the EU Directives.The project partners analysed the current situation with regards PW - glass, metals, plastics and paper – and WEEE - cooling equipment, CRT screens and fluorescent lamps – in each participating country. This included spatial and temporal inventories, the current waste legislation frameworks and detailed cost-benefit assessments of the current management systems from a technical, managerial, environmental and financial point of view.The work identified the major economic constraints and environmental obstacles faced by the participant countries for the implementation of cost effective and sustainable recycling practices on small islands to meet the requirements of the EU Directives. The project confirmed that the recovery/recycling measures promoted in islands differed from the ones on the mainland. Recycling in islands is often implemented although it is not financially viable and often achieves lower recovery rates.Additional preparatory work was completed for establishing the DST, including the definition of a database of important parameters, for example, the fuel consumption per km for different methods of transport. The completed DST comprised programmes capable of: 1. estimating quantities of waste from data on population levels and economic activities 2. forecasting future waste quantities 3. calculating the environmental emissions – including quantities of dangerous substances - and energy consumption from different waste management processes 4. analysing ‘what-if’ scenarios for different management processes 5. producing reports presenting outcomes from different systems.The DST was implemented by the participating beneficiaries, and it identified promising environmental approaches or best available techniques (BATs) for the recovery and recycling of waste in small islands, including five specific scenarios. The DST was disseminated at the final conference and made available on the project website together with a users manual. The University of Cyprus will continue to provide on-line support to stakeholders interested in implementing the DST in other island contexts for at least 5 years after the project.Further information on the project can be found in the projects layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).

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This innovation is the result of the project

Title: Environmental Policy Support Tool For Recycling In Islands


01.01.2009 to 30.06.2011

completed project

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Role in project: Project Coordination

Contact person: PANAYIDES Marios


Phone: +357-22-806400