From 12 to 14 December, nearly a hundred European experts gathered in Athens to discuss how local and regional authorities can improve their waste collection and recycling policies. This meeting aimed at sharing the expertise of the R4R project partners with Greek municipalities and regions. It also allowed to present the project’s first results related to the local instruments helping to reach high recycling performances.

Landfill and incineration bans or taxes, selective collection rules (defining how waste is selectively collected – door-to-door, in civic amenity sites or bring banks – the collection frequency and the types of the collected waste), differentiated pricing systems and awareness-raising campaigns: these are some of the instruments used by cities and regions to organise their waste collection and recycling schemes. The right mix leads to impressive selective collection and recycling rates, as in Flanders for instance, where 70% of waste is separately collected, with a high quality level of the collected waste (ensuring a high recycling rate as well).

On 12 December, Greek municipalities and regions compared their waste management schemes with other territories in Europe, with a focus on bio-waste and ‘pay as you throw’ issues. Though the results in Greece are not as high as in the Flemish or Styrian regions, for instance, their results and desire to improve the situation are encouraging.

On 13 and 14 December, R4R partners kept on discussing the local instruments and external factors, and also the comparison of data related to selective collection of paper waste and bio-waste. Over 300 instruments have been shared by the R4R partners, including legal, technical, economic and communication instruments. From among these, the project will identify best practices and share them with other European cities and regions.

Regions for Recycling (R4R) is a 3-year European project (2012-2014) aiming at improving its partners’ recycling performances through consistent comparisons and an exchange of good practices. R4R involves 13 partners and is co-funded by the INTERREG IVC programme.

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