ACR+ News

ACR+ Update


Spring 2017
Welcome to the first ACR+ Update of 2017!

Some of ACR+ long standing followers might remember the year 2005, during which the Association of Cities for Recycling (ACR-AVR) became the Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and sustainable Resource management, known as ACR+. 12 years after ACR+ opened a new page of its history, when at the beginning of this year the reference to recycling was removed from its name. In a bid to better reflect its priorities, ACR+ became solely the Association of Cities and Regions for sustainable Resource management. This change might appear anecdotal but it bears on the contrary a profound meaning: it highlights even more that resource efficiency will not be reached only through recycling but also thanks to the promotion of waste prevention actions, re-use and repair initiatives, the support of eco-design, the implementation of legal and economic instruments, and many other measures at different levels.

Even if its name has evolved, the core missions of ACR+ stay unchanged. ACR+  is relentlessly working to support cities and regions in their way towards a more sustainable future. In this regards 2017 has already shown a very promising start. On top of taking an active part and providing technical support in 14 projects funded by the European Commission, ACR+ is increasing its capacity-building activities for its members with the organisation of monthly webinars and a summer training course on circular economy (open to all). It is also strengthening its activities in the South-East Mediterranean Region, mainly with the SWIM project starting to enter into its concrete phase and by supporting Libyan municipalities members of the Nicosia initiative as you will read further below.

You will find hereafter all the useful information on our past and future activities. Enjoy reading our first Update 2017!

Françoise Bonnet
ACR+ Secretary General




More information about ACR+? Visit or follow us on Twitter @ACRplus


ACR+ welcomes new members!

ACR+ is looking forward to a fruitful cooperation with its new members:

  • The Institut Eco-Conseil (IEC) is a Belgian training environmental institute specialized in change management and sustainable development (SD). For more than 25 years, IEC has trained over 800 eco-counsellors - concerted project managers for environmental and SD issues for all economic sectors. IEC also develops different training projects in environmental management and eco-counselling with both public and private institutions-in Belgium or in international cooperation frameworks.
  • Decoset is the local authority in charge of household waste treatment in the Toulouse region (South West France). With almost one million inhabitants, Decoset operates 13 local recycling centres, 4 transfer stations, 1 sorting centre, 1 composting plant and 2 waste-to-energy plants. In November 2015, Decoset was labelled "Territoire Zéro Déchet Zéro Gaspillage" (Zero Waste Territory) by the French Ministry of the Environment, Energy, and Marine Affairs.
  • Open Plan Consulting S.r.l. is a multi-disciplinary consultancy company, specialized in technical assistance services funded by major international institutions such as the European Union, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

For more information about our members:



Summer training course on circular economy

circularCircular economy is on every lip, but are we sure that this concept is clearly understood? How to turn this key but complex theory into practical action?

ACR+ is partnering with Venice International University to organise a three day training course offering a concrete “hands-on” experience on circular economy. From 3 to 5 July 2017, more than 10 experts and practitioners across Europe will be brought together in Venice. With this course you will understand how to build up strong circular economy strategies through concrete examples that they can replicate and implement on their territory.

Not only will they gain access to innovative best practices but they will also learn how to better know your territory, map your challenges and priorities or identify the private and public stakeholders to involve for a successful circular economy strategy. You will discuss with subject matter experts on the topic and collaborate with like-minded people from all over Europe to develop individual and common projects. Also included in the programme: a visit to Contarina who achieved more than 85% recycling and the opportunity to showcase your projects and initiatives during a market place.

There is just a week left to register, there are places are still available. So do not miss this opportunity to give a practical meaning to circular economy and register before 28 April 2017.

For more information you can contact Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo. or visit



ACR+ monthly webinars

ACR+ organises monthly webinars on topical issues relating to material resource management that are an exclusive part of ACR+ membership. Every ACR+ webinar gathers experts and participants who have the opportunity to ask question, share experience and knowledge and discuss the concrete issue with all participants.

So far in 2017, three of these webinars took place with speakers from the European Commission, local public authorities, universities, sustainable resource management organisations, ACR+ members and team.

On 27 January 2017, the “Financing circular economy: from European instruments to local implementation” webinar took place. Organised in the framework of the Circular Europe Network, this webinar introduced complementary financial instruments that can support the implementation of circular economy and examples of their implementation. It was followed on 23 February 2017 by the FISSAC project webinar focusing on industrial symbiosis tools and best practices, including an introduction to the FISSAC tool that is currently being developed. Finally, “Sustainable tourism, waste and tourism” webinar took place on 31 March 2017. Challenges faced by touristic areas on material resource management and circular economy: seasonality, geographical constraints (islands, heritage areas) and unsustainable consumption patterns were largely discussed.

We will be hosting our next webinar “Role of local and regional authorities for SMEs” on 11 May 2017.



ARLEM helping Libya's local authorities by providing vital public services through Nicosia initiative

On 21, 22 and 23 March ACR+ took part in a workshop in Tunisia organised by the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly and Libyan local authorities (ARLEM) and Flanders Region (OVAM) gathering experts from Europe (Italy, Spain and Belgium (OVAM)) and 6 Libyan local authorities as a part of Nicosia Initiative. The Nicosia initiative focuses on public services, with different European Regions/cities sharing expertise and providing training in waste management, public administration, water management, etc.

For the time being, the main aim of the waste management part of the initiative is to identify a road map to set up pilot customized organic waste compost areas in key locations of 6 Libyan municipalities: Ghariyan, Zintan, Sebha,Tripoli, Benghazi and Toubruk. The locations of the areas previously identified by the Libyan partners can be grouped in three categories: universities/colleges, medical centres, close to dumping sites.

Waste management in Libya is one of the key strategic public services that need overall restructuring towards the establishment of an effective Integrated Waste Management System. Municipalities are facing multiple challenges even to respond at least to the basic requirements affecting directly people lives (conflicting legal framework, lack of adequate means for garbage collection, transportation and disposal, lack of financial resources).

The project proposal for the organ ic waste compost areas should be ready before 27 May 2017. All actors involved will work on an earlier option, if current working engagements allow.



Waste legislation review: regions and cities for a circular economy co-organised by ACR+

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) in association with ACR+ and other organisations organised on 31 January 2017 "Waste legislation review: regions and cities for a circular economy". The conference aimed to highlight the positions of CoR and the European Parliament on the revision of the waste directives and the implementation of circular economy action plan.

The first session was built on positive declarations which supported the ambitions of cities and regions for a new regulatory framework with higher targets and additional binding obligations. During the second session the European Commission's Action plan for implementing the circular economy was presented together with best practices from circular cities.

ACR+ Secretary General Francoise Bonnet participated as a speaker during the second section of the conference and presented ACR+ mission and how it helps developing the link between cities, regions and concrete practices towards sustainable resource management. She further underlined the essential role of regions in advancing circular economy.

More information:



We were also there!

ACR+ is active not only through the implementation of projects or the publication of reports but also through its participation in a variety of conferences and events across Europe (and more). Maybe you saw us and listened to our presentations at the following events:

BNP Paribas Fortis in Transition: Co-creation Workshops with Entrepreneurs & Experts (30 January 2017 | Brussels) – Speaker during the session “Consumption patterns

NewInnoNet workshop (01 February 2017 | Brussels) – Speaker during the session “Redesigning Extended Producer Responsibility

INGEDE Symposium 2017 (08 February 2017 | Munich) – Speaker during the session “The IMPACTPapeRec Project: European Multi‐Stakeholder Cooperation to Improve Paper Recycling Rates

2nd European Food & Beverage Plastic Packaging Summit (08 – 09 February 2017 | Berlin) – Speaker during the session “The Impact of Community Regulatory Initiatives on Municipal Waste Management in certain territories”
North London Waste Prevention Exchange (16 February 2017 | London) – ACR+ presented the Circular Europe Network and best practices on circular economy instruments and business models in Europe

BIOHEC-LIFE kick-off meeting (15 March 2017 | Brussels) – Speaker presenting DECISIVE project

EuRIC Competitive Recycling markets in Europe(28 March 2017 | Brussels) – Speaker during the session “Recycling – enabling factors in the waste legislation to drive the circular economy

DG Joint Research Centre expert meeting (28 March 2017 | Seville) – Speaker presenting municipal waste monitoring




Launch of the Blue Islands project

The Blue Islands project gathers 8 major and 55 smaller islands, representing more than 2/3 of Mediterranean, in a systematic effort to properly identify, address and mitigate the effects of the seasonal variation of waste generation on MED islands as an effect of tourism.

Blue Islands project will measure the quantity and composition of waste generated over a twelve-month period on nine Mediterranean islands, examining the correlation between the quantified waste generated and both the number of tourists and the presence of litter in the coastal environment. At the same time, the existing waste management structure and followed respective practices will be assessed.

On the basis of a report prepared from the results derived from all nine islands involved, Blue Islands’ project will formulate a multidimensional tool, in order to allow potential stakeholders to address effectively the problematic phenomenon. Over a following twelve-month period the tool will be implemented with selected action plans for each participating island, while the efficacy of each action plan will be evaluated.

Since January 2017, the project held its kick-off meeting on 17 and 18 January 2017 and launched MED Community on Sustainable Tourism on 16 and 17 March 2017.



The Circular Europe Network gets ready for its first training

ACR+ has been working hard in order to prepare its upcoming Summer Training Course on Circular Economy, in order to give practical knowledge about how to prepare circular economy strategies. The result is a programme balancing lectures on European and local initiatives, with a specific focus on plastics on the second day, workshops on the key elements to take into account for the building of circular economy on the ground and other features like a site visit and networking opportunities. It is still time to register, so don’t miss this opportunity!

In addition to the preparation of the training course, ACR+ has been involved in various meetings as key expert on circular economy strategies from local and regional authorities, addressing among others cities involved in various European networks, local stakeholders from the Netherlands, representatives of the waste sector from Portugal as well as students from Denmark.

In terms of publications, the Circular Europe Network (CEN) is moving on with its future guidelines on sustainable food systems, due to be delivered this year. The guidelines will address the key principles of sustainable food systems and will provide concrete cases about the areas and instruments where cities and regions can have an impact. New factsheets were also added to the CEN database, in particular about instruments to support SME activities on circular economy and food strategies.



DECISIVE stakeholder interviews and upcoming project meeting

In the upcoming weeks, ACR+ will conduct several interviews among the stakeholders of the bio-waste management system to assess the situation in the Brussels Region and investigate how the DECISIVE concept could be adapted to the local context. Additionally, DECISIVE project partners will meet in Copenhagen on the 25 and 26 April 2017 to discuss the progress achieved by the project:
  • first definition of the decision support tool to help local authorities designing decentralised bio-waste management schemes,
  • inventory of the challenges in the current bio-waste management systems identified through interviews,
  • first specifications for the micro-anaerobic digestion plants and solid state fermentation process.
DECISIVE – A DECentralised management Scheme for Innovative Valorisation of urban biowastE – aims to help with the reform of urban waste management systems for our ever-growing cities and populations. You can consult ACR+ website for highlights and recent developments related to the project.



Don't Waste Our Future project held its final conference

On 20 April 2017, the Don’t Waste Our Future project held its final conference at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels. The event was entitled “Towards a global commitment for food waste reduction and the right to food”.

This conference was a great opportunity to present the results of the DWOF project on education to the fight against food waste and for the global right to food in 7 European countries. A special focus was given to public policies on food waste reduction, especially towards schools and educational programmes. The wider topic of sustainable food systems at local level was also addressed.

The DWOF project highlighted that there is a large recognition of the common responsibility regarding food waste reduction and that education is a powerful instrument to empower new generations as agents of change. In order to address this shared responsibility, all stakeholders, including citizens, are encouraged to endorse the DWOF charter and to take concrete action, for instance by organising peer-to-peer teaching targeting students, on the basis of the modules developed by the DWOF partners.



EPR Club lunch debates shed light on future of EPR and measuring of recycling

EPR club events continue to highlight important issues such as the future of EPR and measuring of recycling in the two debates already organised this year.

On 19 January 2017, ACR+ organised an event to look into the origins of EPR, the evolutions of the past decades since its creation and the implications these evolutions have for the future of EPR. The recently published OECD guidance on EPR was presented and the event further included presentations by the European Commission and from Professor Thomas Lindhqvist who first conceptualised the EPR as a principle two decades ago.

The second debate hosted by EXPRA took place on 29 March 2017 and discussed the issue of how to calculate waste which is actually recycled. Different challenges surrounding the calculation process are identified (for instance, lack of exact data, difficulties in traceability of waste, quality of the waste, etc.).



EWWR prepares for the major European spring clean campaign and launch of its Steering Committee

In order to reduce littering in nature and to give visibility to this issue, the Let's Clean Up Europe (LCUE) campaign has extended its timeframe for clean-up actions to become a major spring clean! Action Developers can start implementing their action from the 1 March up to 30 June. The LCUE initiative also wishes to create a vivid momentum around this topic during the second weekend of May, from 12 to 14 May.

Additionally, the LIFE+ financing of the initiative is coming to an end in June 2017. Of course, the EWWR will continue carrying on its mission to raise awareness about waste reduction, reuse and recycle. In order to support the EWWR campaign, a European Steering Committee will be created as the main decision-making body of the campaign deciding on the EWWR Awards, Jury and the annual thematic focus or the communication strategy. The proposal can be read here. How to contribute? Find out here or e-mail the EWWR Secretariat at Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo. for more information.
The first meeting of the ESC will be held on 17 May 2017, followed by the Final LIFE EWWR International Conference and Awards Ceremony on 18 May 2017 in Barcelona.

Get the latest updates and inspiring ideas by following @EWWR, @LCUEofficial & @LetsCleanUpEU!



FISSAC first webinar explains industrial symbiosis tools

First FISSAC webinar took place on 23 February 2017 and included presentations focusing on industrial symbiosis tools, case studies, the FISSAC tool and the social aspects needed to make industrial symbiosis a possibility. If you missed this webinar and the discussion it created, there is still a chance for you to get involved, watch the webinar video and make comments. The webinar video is available here after adding your registration information. An automated email will be sent with a registration link that you can use to watch the webinar at a later date.

The FISSAC project will regularly add information on new events to the project website. Currently, the next official webinar has been scheduled for early 2018.



IMPACTPapeRec debated on efforts to increase separate paper collection in Europe & newsletter published

The IMPACTPapeRec project gathered more than 50 professionals from across Europe to debate the ways to increase separate paper collection in the EU during a conference in Barcelona on 24 January 2017. A mapping of the current waste management systems in Europe was presented at the conference. It revealed major differences in challenges between countries with a well-established recycling system and those where such a system is still being implemented. Citizen awareness and motivation was a recurring topic throughout the event. In addition, the partners, including ACR+, presented some of the identified best practices, which will undergo a deeper analysis during the months to come.

The project recently released its second newsletter! This new issue gives more information on the data-collection work carried on by the project team in both the municipalities involved in the project and in the external territories selected for their best practices. Several study visits were conducted and three reports published, leading the project team to deepen its understanding of the Paper for Recycling collection and management systems of the municipalities involved in the project.

Make sure to follow the development of the IMPACTPapeRec handbook by subscribing to the upcoming issues of the newsletter. To know more about the project visit IMPACTPapeRec website.



First INTHERWASTE Thematic Seminar on ‘Waste Deposit in Heritage Areas’

On 9 March 2017, ACR+ participated in the first thematic seminar of the INTHERWASTE project, organised by the Municipality of Porto. The event focused on ‘Waste Deposit in Heritage Areas’ and best practices on the different types of waste collection areas and devices were presented. For instance, the installation of brink banks and underground waste containers has to be carefully thought of in order to be easily accessed by collectors and citizens alike, as well as to avoid damaging the visual aesthetic and protected zones, both on the ground and underground. These presentations led to a fruitful discussion amongst the participants regarding the introduction of such methods within their territories. All presentations are available on this page.

The seminar was a good opportunity to introduce the newly produced INTHERWASTE video. For more information on the seminar and other recent developments in the project we invite you to subscribe to the INTHERWASTE newsletter.

The next thematic seminar will be held in Krakow on 7-8 June 2017 and will focus on “Selective Collection in Heritage Cities”. For more information, please visit the event’s page.



Procuring green urban furniture: check the first outputs of LIFE FUTURE and get involved

The project consortium has continued to work on the design and development of the GUF Tool during the last six months. The design of the tool structure and features has been completed, as well as the graphical image and interface. All the information needed for the GUF Tool database was collected, evaluated and simplified, but further simplification is being conducted to boost the usability of the tool and make it easier for users. First project outputs are already available on LIFE FUTURE project website: If you are interested in being closely involved in the LIFE FUTURE project, you can become a LIFE FUTURE stakeholder. Amongst other benefits, it will give you the opportunity to participate in the development process of the online tool developed during the project (the GUF Tool). More information as well as the support letter to sign is available online. You can also subscribe to the LIFE FUTURE newsletter in order to not miss any new development of the project.



Life SMART Waste held the External Steering Group meeting

On 01 March 2017 Life SMART Waste (LSW) External Steering Group gathered National Waste Agencies, International organizations and other public authorities to discuss strategies and tools to deploy lasting and effective waste crime prevention and intervention. The ESG meeting was a chance to share with a wider group of stakeholders LSW project outputs:
  • Intelligence Communication Hub –an intelligence-sharing facility to support a European waste crime strategic communication, collaborative prevention and intervention responses.
  • An online tool enabling regulators to identify waste crime opportunities on the base of competitive advantage and criminal behaviours.
  • Remote sensing techniques to tackle illegal stockpiling, land application and land-fill.
  • ’Operation Nortese’, a multi-agency operation based on LSW project methodologies to tackle cross-border criminal activity in the UK waste industry.



PPI4Waste national training workshops are under way

As part of the PPI4waste project, a series of national training workshops were organised to help building capacity in public procurement of innovation and show how this can be applied within the municipal waste sector. First two workshops were held earlier this year in Croatia (with ACR+ Member Zagreb Municipality) and Germany, and will be followed by other events in Spain and Sweden in the coming months.

The training material used during the workshops is available online. The course moves on to provide more detailed insights into the case of a PPI for bulky waste in Ireland, and the application of performance based contracts.



RE4 launched newly-developed promotional material and held its second General Assembly

On 21 and 22 March 2017, ACR+ attended the project’s Second General Assembly in Belfast. The meeting was hosted by Belfast Queen's University and project partners had the chance to discuss outcomes of the first semester study phase, thus starting the definition process of a prefabricated energy-efficient building concept that can be easily assembled and disassembled for future reuse, containing up to 65% in weight of recycled materials from construction and demolition waste.

In other project news, ACR+ recently developed the RE4’s promotional materials to strengthen its visibility and external communication. This includes an infographic, leaflet, and roll-up poster describing the project and the partners. All the communication materials are downloadable from the project’s website.  

RE4 is a collaborative research project of 13 partner institutions from science and industry funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. If you want to stay updated on the latest developments of RE4, you can follow it on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  



URBANREC published the first project newsletter

The first URBANREC newsletter was released on 10 January 2017. The first issue gives more information on the first months since the project start in June 2016 and the currently ongoing tasks and activities. It also presents several of the project partners.

ACR+ will organise a second “legal working group” meeting to discuss how to improve reuse of bulky waste. The meeting will bring together project partners as well as various actors of the bulky waste value chain and will build on the data and information collected from the 4 territories involved in the project. You can keep updated on the project’s activities, the meetings and the upcoming events by subscribing to the URBANREC newsletter.



URBAN-WASTE’s mobilisation of stakeholders progresses with each Mutual Learning event held

Nearly a year after URBAN-WASTE project had its kick-off meeting, it has developed into a well-established project on entire continent involving many local and regional authorities and their communities including synergies with other similar European projects.
With the first Mutual Learning event in Florence on Gender Mainstreaming in Waste management held at the end of 2016, the beginning of this year saw a progress in establishing the project and its objectives locally and at the same time an expansion of the project to other non-pilot cities and regions. The second Mutual Learning event held in Santander in March 2017 was a perfect combination of pilots’ involvement and participation in developing the project’s own mobile application and exploring other ICT solutions already in place across Europe.
In addition, the first event within the Communities of Practices framework took place this April in Copenhagen with many more to come in the following months all across the 11 pilot cities and regions. These Communities of Practices gather various local stakeholders and actors, such as tourism workers, waste management workers, residents, tourists and others whose opinion matters and counts in improving certain practices and implementing new ones. The Communities of Practices and their achievements so far will be presented and shared among the URBAN-WASTE pilots in Copenhagen alongside the 3rd Mutual Learning event on waste management planning in touristic cities on 01 June 2017 and the next General Assembly of the URBAN-WASTE project which takes place the same week in Copenhagen.
Visit the website for more, find us on social media and subscribe for the upcoming newsletter in May.



TurkeyComposts held its final conference

On 12 January 2017, the final conference of the TurkeyComposts project was held in Istanbul, Turkey. Organised by Bugday with the support of ACR+, the conference gathered expert speakers from Europe and Turkey to present best practices in bio-waste management and composting strategies. This conference was the final activity of the TurkeyComposts project. It focused on presenting the status quo of composting practices in Turkey and in Europe and addressed municipality representatives, NGOs and academia.

The TurkeyComposts project aimed at helping to increase composting practices in Turkey and supporting Turkish local governments in developing bio-waste management strategies. It furthermore aimed at increasing awareness of composting in the general public in Turkey and at increasing cooperation between the local governments and Civil Society Organisations working on waste and composting in Turkey and EU.




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Webinar "Role of local and regional authorities for circular SMEs"

11 May 2017 | Online

The upcoming ACR+ webinar will focus on the "role of local and regional authorities for circular SMEs" and will be held on Thursday, 11 May 2017, from 11:00 to 13:00 (Brussels time). Organised in the framework of the Circular Europe Network (CEN), this webinar will discuss different aspects of the demands made from public authorities, as well as the support public authorities can provide for SMEs. It will cover topics such as behavioural change initiatives, infrastructure helpful for SMEs in this transition, and business support schemes public authorities can launch in an effort to drive the move towards a circular economy.


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Final LIFE EWWR International Conference and Awards Ceremony

18 May 2017 | Barcelona

The European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) is getting ready for its final conference under the financing of the LIFE programme of the European Commission. The event is entitled “Qualitative prevention, a new approach towards the Circular Economy” and will focus on reducing the hazardous content of waste. New awareness-raising management strategies aimed at achieving waste prevention will also be explored. The EWWR Awards Ceremony will take place on the same day and location to reward the most remarkable actions from the 2016 edition. This central event is organised by the ACR+ member, the Catalan Waste Agency.


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ACR+ General Assembly 2017

19 May 2017 | Barcelona

ACR+ General Assembly
is the yearly event where ACR+ members meet, and above all, discuss the future of the network, its working programme and priorities. To foster the exchange of experiences and good practices within the network a session on thematic discussion groups and a poster presentation are included in this year's event. The topics of the discussion groups are the following: Organic waste management; Demolition and construction waste; Circular public procurement; Reuse strategies; Municipal waste advisors; Future lifestyles vs waste generation; Deposit system.


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URBAN-WASTE Mutual learning event - Waste management planning

01 June 2017 | Copenhagen

The third Mutual Learning event of the URBAN-WASTE project will be dedicated to waste management planning with a special focus on tourism and tourism activities. It will explore how to reach a waste management plan suitable for touristic cities which takes into consideration many specificities of these cities (high seasonal variation of resident population, insufficient infrastructure for collecting and treating the waste generated and differences in behaviours and habits in waste generation between the local and visiting population).


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Summer training course on circular economy: policies and practices

03 - 05 July 2017 | Venice

This training course will provide civil servants and professionals with an overview on the EU Circular Economy policies and practices as well as with a practical guide for their implementation at national, regional and local level. High-level international experts will present best practices related to, among others: resource management, SME's support, and behavioural change, legal and economic instruments.