One of the biggest challenges facing the Republic of Cyprus is the management of municipal waste, given the high level of municipal waste generated per year, which is one of the highest in Europe, compared to the low recycling rates, taking into account in particular the need to achieve the EU's high goals.
Available data for 2020 suggest that waste management in Cyprus needs to be significantly improved in order to be in line with European averages, such as:
• Cyprus produces 609 kg of municipal waste per capita per year, ranking it fifth after Denmark (845 kg), Luxembourg (790 kg), Malta (643 kg), Germany (632 kg) and much higher than the EU average of 505 kg.
• Cyprus recycles about 18.3% of its municipal waste, compared to the EU average of 47%.
• 78.8% of all municipal waste is disposed of in landfills, three times higher than the European average of 23%, and well above the 10% target set by the European Commission for 2030.
• Only 2.9% of generated waste is reused (1.2% was composted and 1.7% was used for energy recovery), compared to the EU average of 11.7%.
The total amount of municipal solid waste produced in Cyprus amounted to 54 thousand tons in 2020 compared to 571 thousand tons in 2019, recording a decrease of 4.9%.
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The draft Municipal Waste Management Strategy 2021 – 2027, which was put to public consultation by the Department of Environment on January 31, 2022 and for a period of 30 days, states that while a large percentage of waste production can be attributed to tourism, it remains critical. There is an urgent need to implement an integrated approach to municipal waste management that will cover the entire waste management process, from collection to reuse, recycling and disposal in all areas of Cyprus.
The new Municipal Waste Management Strategy 2021-2027 has been prepared by the Department of Environment, in collaboration with the European IMPEL Network and with the provision of technical assistance by the Structural Reform Support Service of the European Commission.
The following principles were taken into account in formulating the new Strategy:
Compliance with the obligations arising from the European directives on waste management and achieving the objectives of reuse, recycling and landfill reduction.
Full utilization of the existing waste management infrastructure.
Implementation of the waste management hierarchy.
Adoption of best and economically viable practices.
The new measures, based on the implementation of the separate collection of municipal waste and the forthcoming implementation
of Pay As I Fly systems in all local authorities focus on the need to increase the separate
collection, preparation for reuse and recycling, as well as the need to strengthen the infrastructure for the management of individually selected waste.
Specifically, the measures concern the following areas:
. Strengthening the existing network and creating new waste management infrastructure
. Reduction of municipal waste generated and reuse
. Improving the extended liability systems of the producer
Πό Financial resources and tools
. Education and awareness
. Improve the collection of waste management data
. Strengthen the coordination of central government and local government
These are the projects that are planned
With the main purpose of defining the framework of actions and measures that will be implemented in the next six years in the field of municipal waste management, the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment has prepared a Municipal Waste Management Strategy 2021-2027. Cyprus has submitted proposals and secured funding for waste management projects through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Recovery and Sustainability Fund (RDA) and the financing of the LIFE Program. It is noted that funding should be provided for the necessary new infrastructure, where these have not been included under the funding programs.
The actions that are expected to be completed in the coming years and approved for co-financing exceed € 63 million.
The program for the technical and financial support of the ATA for the creation of a system of separate collection of municipal solid waste and the implementation of the program I Pay As I Fly is co-financed by the Structural Funds with a budget of € 25 million with a completion date of 31/12/2023. Also, the solid municipal waste reduction program for coastal hotel and related tourist infrastructure in Larnaca and Famagusta has been completed and now a municipal solid waste reduction program for coastal hotel and related tourist infrastructure in Limassol and Paphos is underway through the Structural Funds. € 6.4 million and completion date 31/12/2023.
For the mountainous areas of Cyprus, a program of prevention, separate collection and recovery of municipal waste will be financed through the Structural Funds with the amount reaching € 1.5 million. The program is expected to be completed by 31/12/2023.
During the period 1/1 / 2022- 31/12/2025, an installation program of 50 autonomous mechanical composters in remote and semi-remote areas should be completed. The project budget is € 7 million and is funded by the Recovery and Sustainability Fund.
The same Fund finances the program of creation of two reuse and repair centers and a network of stores amounting to € 4 million and the program of installation of 50 green kiosks in remote and semi-remote areas of € 3.3 million. The two programs must be implemented during the period 1/1 / 2022- 31/12/2025. Also, through the Structural Funds and the Fund for Recovery and Sustainability will be financed with the amount of € 900 thousand the creation of a coordinating body between central government and local government for waste management. The program must be implemented by 31/12/2025.
Finally, through the Structural Funds, the program of improvements in the existing and development of new infrastructures for the treatment of organic and / or recyclable waste is financed, a project budget of € 15 million and duration of implementation in the period 2022-2027.