The ‘Regions 4 RecyclingInterreg IVC European project was launched last Wednesday 18th April 2012. This partnership project led by the Ile-de-France Region Waste Management Observatory (ORDIF) brings together 12 European Regions with the ambitious target to promote regional contributions towards a European Recycling Society.  Thus, local and regional authorities will aim to make consistent comparisons via a common methodology and exchange of good practices related to local instruments in order to improve their recycling performances.

European municipalities are subject to common EU waste management regulations but have taken different approaches to reach the recycling targets.  Differences between the recycling performances are evident, ranging from less than 10 % to more than 70 % from one region to another.

The 3-year R4R project aims to work on a common framework for waste data observation, selective collection and recycling rates where by assessing the local instruments (technical, economic or legal) with the aim to reduce the recycling performance gap between the EU regions.

 “With a budget for R4R of 2.2 million euros over three years, three quarters of which arise from European funds, we will be able to act, starting with capitalising on the experience of the partners," said Eric Chevaillier, President of ORDIF while Olivier De Clercq, Secretary General of ACR+ stated: “This project is also about creating solidarity between regions with very different context and performances. It is encouraging to see that the current ‘best European performers” only started to implement their waste management strategy  15 years ago and today it is possible to move even faster, based on the accumulated experience and the new instruments available .”

The R4R project is led by ORDIF whereas the overall project communication is managed by ACR+, and the technical component is coordinated by the Public Waste Agency of Flanders, OVAM. Henny De Baets, Administrator-General of OVAM states: "Thanks to the participation of OVAM in this project, we can share our experience of selective collection and recycling of household waste with our European partners. In addition, we still learn from our partners, in order to further enhance the Flemish waste policy, and to achieve even sooner the transition to a sustainable material policy."

The project was officially launched at a conference on 18th April in Paris bringing together the different partners and issues of waste management and their shared observation, in the presence of the European Commission, the French Ministry for Environment and ADEME (French Agency for the Environment and Energy Management). A two day kick off meeting followed including a site visit to a regional sorting plant with the participation of all Partners.

The 13 partners are:  Ile-de-France Region Waste Management Observatory (France), ACR+  the Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and Sustainable Resource Management (Belgium), OVAM  the Public Waste Agency of Flanders (Belgium), Odense Waste Management (Denmark), Municipality of Lisbon (Portugal), EFXINI Poli (Greece), Limerick County Council (Ireland), Province of Styria (Austria), Municipality of Tallinn (Estonia), Waste Agency of Catalonia (Spain), Municipality of Sofia (Bulgaria), Municipality of Zagreb (Croatia), Ilfov County  Council (Romania).

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