The COVID-19 pandemic has already had tremendous impacts on the waste sector. At first, while the pandemic was progressing and lockdowns imposed in many countries, public authorities and municipal waste operators had to rapidly adapt their waste management systems and procedures to the situation. This is when ACR+, replying to requests from its members, started collecting data on the different systems and solutions implemented with the aim of gathering and exchanging practices. This work is available on a page dedicated to what can be called the first phase, during which the priority was to provide a fast and safe answer to the questions raised by the pandemic. A summary of the trends observed amongst these practices during March is provided in the infographic below.

As the lockdown or other restrictive measures are progressively lifted, a second phase is starting and new challenges are appearing. Public authorities and municipal waste operators do not have to act to face an urgent situation but they now have to deal with the impacts of the different measures of the so-called first phase and with the necessity to re-assess the situation. Adaptation is needed once more, this time to search for stabilized operation. The crisis is also moving along the value chain reaching new actors such as recyclers. As it did during the first phase, ACR+ is gathering data on the situation in different countries to monitor the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on different waste management systems. The aim is to gather and exchange practices, being aware that situations are diverse and dependent on the national and local constraints as well as means available.

In several countries, surveys are conducted (at national, regional or local level) to assess the situation and provide a summary and statistics on waste collection and treatment activities during the lockdowns. Currently data are available for the city of Milan, Catalonia, England and France. Such information is indicated with the following pictogramme: analysis

Note: the information is published as we received it, with the addition of the necessary sources and edition if required. Translations are made by our team and are not under the responsibility of the issuing authority or organisation. Should you want to contribute, please send an email to Paolo Marengo (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Last update: 20/05/2020

ACR 2020 03 Waste management covid19 graphSummary of observed trends regarding municipal waste management during the COVID-19 crisis in March 2020 (click on the picture to enlarge it or download it as a pdf).

 

Icons made by mynamepong from www.flaticon.com

The current pandemic of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, raises questions and brings challenges regarding municipal waste management practices and procedures (safety and health measures for employees, waste treatment requirements, general procedures due to coronavirus for waste sector). Since the beginning of the crisis, several webinars have been organised on the topic. You will find below a selection of those whose recordings are accessible to all. If the webinar you have organised is not included in this list, please send an email to Gaëlle Colas (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

This series, jointly organized by UN-Habitat and the Wuppertal Institute for Environment, Climate, Energy under the Urban Pathways project, includes four webinars: Challenges and Opportunities of Municipal Solid Waste ManagementAdapting Municipal Solid Waste Systems; Workers' Safety; Managing Medical and Special Waste. Recordings, presentations, and a written summary are available.

 

 

This webinar organised by Zero Waste Europe brought together waste and health experts to assess the impacts that the COVID-19 virus is having on zero waste policies and strategies in Europe. It examined whether governments can simultaneously prioritise the health and protection of their citizens, whilst also progressing towards their local zero waste agenda.



At this online roundtable organised by the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) the speakers, from the ISWA Board and Scientific & Technical Committee, discussed waste management in these unprecedented times.





Webinar in Italian organised by AICA and ERICA. A summary of the webinar is available, including the main points of each speaker and the questions asked by the audience.







Webinar in Italian organised by AICA and ERICA. A summary of the webinar is available with the main points of each speaker.







The Spanish association Fertile Auro organised a webinar on community composting during the COVID-19 offering the opportunity to hear the opinion of expert microbiologists and to share the guidelines and modifications of the maintenance and management protocols of these areas that have been implemented by different territories of the Basque Country and Galicia.

 

 

The Spanish association Fertile Auro organised a webinar on the differentiated management of municipal waste. It focused on door-to-door collection systems implemented in different municipalities of the Basque Country, Catalonia and Valencia to see how they have dealt with this situation.

ACR v2 r02

The Paris Agreement set a global action plan to limit global warming below 2°C above pre-industrial level, with the aim to significantly reduce the risks linked to climate change by limiting the increase of temperatures to 1.5°C by 2100. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it implies reaching net zero CO2 emissions globally in 2050.

The potential of circular economy

  • To reach carbon neutrality in 2050, the carbon footprint of EU citizens must decrease from about 11 tCO2e to 4 tCO2e per inhabitant in 2030;
  • According to different sources, the impact of food and material production accounts for 33% to 45% of the European carbon footprint;
  • Circular economy has a tremendous potential to mitigate the impact of products, by preventing waste generation, extending the lifetime of products, and closing the loops of materials.

It is possible for European cities and regions to reduce the EU carbon footprint of several key sectors by implementing ambitious, yet feasible actions. These sectors are: food, construction, textiles, electronic and eletrical equipment, plastic.

A call to action

Governments are setting ambitious strategies, but to reach the commitments taken fast and strong actions are necessary at all levels. ACR+ and its members are ready to act at their local level.

Together, they will contribute to the global fight against climate change while taking into account the local carbon footprint and existing dynamics. They will build on their key role as public authorities, mobilising local stakeholders and citizens, to drive waste prevention and management and advance the circular economy throughout their jurisdictions in order to reduce carbon impacts. Their goal?

Reduce the emissions linked with local resource management by 25% by 2025

Toward climate-oriented strategies with the Carbon Metric International 

To go beyond weight-based waste measurement a specific tool will be developed: the Carbon Metric International. This will be adapted from the Scottish Carbon Metric, which has been used by Zero Waste Scotland since 2011 to measure the whole life carbon impacts of Scotland’s waste, regardless of where in the world they occur. It includes the emissions from resource extraction and manufacturing of the products  that turned into waste. This type of carbon accounting gives a more complete picture of the impacts of products, allowing decision makers to prioritise their efforts for maximum carbon savings.

Join ACR+ in the global fight aganist climate change!

ACR+ members will work together to reach this goal. With the continuous support of ACR+ Secretariat they will benefit from the upcoming Carbon Metric International developed by Zero Waste Scotland by adapting its Scottish Carbon Metric to be used outside Scotland. Participating members will also benefit from the following activities:

  • Exchange good practices;
  • Conduct cross analysis with annual reports;
  • Improve and mainstream the inclusion of carbon consideration in local circular economy policies;
  • Benefit from tools and methodologies open to all, with the assistance of ACR+ Secretariat for the collection of data and the analysis of results.

The campaign will run from November 2019 to November 2025. Registrations will be open until October 2020.

If you are interested, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Do you want to know more?

For more details, read online the "More circularity, less carbon" manifesto.

 

The first hours of the pandemic of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, forced public authorities and municipal waste operators to rapidly adapt their waste management systems and procedures to take into consideration elements such as safety and health measures for employees, waste treatment requirements, general procedures due to coronavirus for waste sector, staff availability, etc.

To reply to requests from its members, ACR+ gathered data on the different systems and solutions implemented across Europe to manage municipal waste in what can be called a first phase during which most territories experienced lockdowns or similar situations (covering the months of March and April 2020 for most countries included below). It has to be noted that situations are diverse and dependent on the national and local constraints as well as means available. As the pandemic is evolving and the situation moving to what could be called a second phase, the collection of practices linked to the first phase stopped in May 2020. The list below is thus offering an overview of which types of measures have been taken by the different actors at a certain time (mainly at the height of the pandemic) and does not reflect the current situation.

A synthesis is available in the infograph below which summarizes the observed trends regarding municipal waste management during the COVID-19 crisis in March 2020.

As the lockdown or other restrictive measures are progressively lifted, a second phase is starting and new challenges are appearing. ACR+ continues to gather data during this phase, making them available online.

Note: the information on national, regional and local practices has been published as we received it, with the addition of the necessary sources and small edition when needed. Translations were made by our team and are not under the responsibility of the issuing authority or organisation. We thank all our contributors.

 

ACR 2020 03 Waste management covid19 graph(click on the picture to enlarge it or download it as a pdf)

 

Icons made by mynamepong from www.flaticon.com

 

The start of the campaign “More Circularity, less carbon” is getting closer! The campaign, initiated by ACR+ and its members to celebrate the network’s 25th anniversary, highlights the contribution of the circular economy to carbon mitigation.

By joining it, participating cities and regions will benefit from ACR+ support to take steps at their local level to reduce the carbon emissions linked with local resource management by 25% by 2025!
 
A call for interest will soon be launched for ACR+ members who would like to participate in the campaign. In the meantime, you are invited to join the launch event which will take place on 19 November 2019 in Brussels, in the presence of representatives of the United Nations, the European Commission, and the European Parliament. Registrations are open online.

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