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The per capita production of municipal waste reached 673 kg for 2022-Management is a challenge

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Εφθασε τα 673 κιλ ηκτκεφαραγωγκικν ;πολτιαπκηδα ;εiριση

One of the biggest challenges is the management of municipal waste and regardless of the result of the local government elections held tomorrow, the challenge will be there the next day as well, since in Cyprus the per capita production of municipal waste for 2022 has reached 673 kg.< /b>

This achievement, as stated to the Cyprus News Agency (CYPE), by Elena Christodoulidou, Senior Environmental Technician, at the Department of Environment of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment was the fifth highest among the member states of the European Union (EU).

Mrs. Christodoulidou spoke at KYPE and gave figures on waste, recycling and the importance of education in strengthening and cultivating ecological awareness.

As mentioned by Mrs. Christodoulidou, according to the data published by the Statistical Service for the total municipal solid waste produced, this amounted for 2020 to 557,730 tons/year, for 2021 to 585,240 tons/year and with an estimate for 2022 to 614,620 tons/year, thus showing a 5% increase in municipal waste generation for 2022 compared to 2021.

Asked how much municipal waste Cypriots and Europeans produce on average each year, Ms. Christodoulidou said that the average municipal waste production per inhabitant in the European Union in 2022 was 513 kilograms. In Cyprus, she continued, municipal waste production per capita reached 673 kg, a performance that was the fifth highest among EU member states in 2022. Austria, Ms. Christodoulidou said, had the highest municipal waste production per inhabitant ( 835 kg, according to 2021 data) followed by Denmark (787 kg), Luxembourg (721 kg), Belgium (677 kg) and Cyprus (673 kg).

59.1% of waste for 2022 ended up in landfills

When asked how the waste is managed, Ms. Christodoulidou stated that municipal waste is collected from households and industries/trade, either mixed by the Municipal Authorities, or separately by collective waste management/recycling programs.

Then, as he explained, the mixed waste is sent to the two Units of the Organization of Integrated Waste Management Facilities (OEDA), while the recyclable materials to licensed units for further management, i.e. for sorting into categories, storage, compression, shredding and shipping abroad ( other member states or third countries) for their further and final management.

He indicated that of the total production of 614,620 tons/year for 2022, i.e. 14.8%, mainly paper and cardboard, plastic, metals, glass and textiles were recycled. He also added that 2.4% was used for energy recovery, while 10,140 tons were used for compost production. In total, 363,340 tons, 59.1%, ended up in landfills, Ms. Christodoulidou noted.

She also stated that “in accordance with the European directives on waste, Member States should implement separate collection of organic waste, while preparation for reuse and recycling of municipal waste should increase to 55% by weight of waste generated by 2025, 60% by 2030 and 65 % until 2035”.

He also said that the amounts of municipal waste ending up in landfills should be reduced by 2035 to 10% or less of the total amounts generated, while ensuring that only treated waste goes to landfills, as well as the creation of an integrated and appropriate network of waste management facilities.

In order to achieve the goals, Ms. Christodoulidou continued, the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment has started the implementation of a number of important actions, as determined through the Municipal Waste Management Plan and the waste prevention program.

He pointed out that these actions are expected to contribute significantly to the increase in recycling and reuse rates and to the reduction of the amounts of municipal waste that end up in landfills in order to meet the European objectives as stated in the Directives and compliance of the Republic of Cyprus with the specific obligations, but and to promote actions to strengthen the circular economy.

Asked about the recycling rates, Ms. Christodoulidou stated that for municipal waste they amount to 17% for 2020, to 14% for 2021 and with an estimate of 14.8% for 2022. She also said that for packaging waste the recycling it amounts to 61.2% for 2020 and 65% for 2021.

It indicated that recycling focuses on materials related to plastic, paper, metal, wood, textiles and products, waste electrical and electronic equipment and batteries.

He noted that most materials can be recycled “as long as they are properly segregated at source and collected separately to achieve high quality purity and therefore recyclability”.

Municipal waste management is a challenge

Ms. Christodoulidou underlined that municipal waste management is one of the biggest challenges she faces the Republic of Cyprus, given the high level of municipal waste generated per inhabitant per year and the comparatively low municipal waste recycling rates compared to the high EU targets.

He stated that the recycling systems for separately collected waste work effectively in the cities and it is expected to strengthen and strengthen them throughout the Local Government and inform the world.

Answering a question about whether there are thoughts about implementing good practices from other European countries, Ms. Christodoulidou said that important steps have already been taken to adopt good practices from other European countries and support specific projects from European funds.

Specifically, referring to programs financed by the Structural Funds, she spoke about the program for the separate collection of municipal waste and the implementation of the “Pay As I Fly” system, for which the Department of the Environment has already called for interest, the prevention program, separate collection and of waste utilization in mountainous areas – the implementation of which has already started – the program of prevention, reduction and separate collection of municipal waste on the coastal fronts of Limassol and Paphos and the creation of a coordination body between Government and Local Government for waste management.

Speaking about the programs financed by the Recovery and Resilience Fund, Ms. Christodoulidou referred to the program for the construction and operation of repair and reuse centers, the installation and operation of 50 green kiosks in remote and semi-remote areas and the installation of community and household composters in remote and semi-remote areas.

Any waste can be re-entered into the economic cycle

Mrs. Christodoulidou indicated that education is undoubtedly very important in strengthening and cultivating ecological awareness through participation in recycling programs. More important, he continued, “is to make it a priority in our lives to reduce the generation of waste and reuse it, keeping materials alive for a longer time”.

He noted that any waste can, with a specific process, re-enter the economic cycle, either for reuse or to be a raw material and natural resource for the creation of new products.

Mrs. Christodoulidou stated that the actions to strengthen education are continuous and always adapted to the needs of the time and to those defined by European law for waste management.

He added that the Department of Environment systematically organizes and participates in conferences and informative events independently and in collaboration with other involved bodies. At the same time, it continued to undertake specific information actions and campaigns to raise public awareness.

Source: KYPE

Source: reporter.com.cy

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