Circular economy, recycling, sustainable waste management: phrases we hear more often lately, but many times fail to fully understand.
Why do they play such an important role in our daily lives, the environment, and the economy and what should be Greece’s next steps?
At GEPA LIFT, a company with decades of experience in the field of waste collection and management in Greece and abroad, we have gathered all the necessary information as well as answers to frequently asked questions for you to fully grasp the issue.
Waste management in Greece and the European Union – what is the current situation?
Integrated waste management is a not only a goal but one of the biggest “bets” of the European Union.
In our country, the challenge is even greater: when it comes to recycling, Greece is at the very bottom of the list, as it insists on using landfills for disposing more than 80% of its waste.
At the same time in the EU, only 22.6% of waste ends up in a landfill!
The problem is not only financial, but it also threatens public health and the environment.
From time to time, the Court of Justice of the European Union fines our country since it continues to operate landfills, even though it has received European funds to terminate their operation and replace them with new methods of waste management.
The European Union is asking Greece to change the way it manages waste – a change that starts at the level of product design and extends to improving recycling systems and the performance of waste management units.
What is the circular economy and why is it so important?
Circular economy is the EU’s way to deal with the problem of sustainable waste management even more effectively.
Circular economy refers to a “green growth model” which is an essential element of the new European and global economic model.
These are its main features:
- Its main objective is the minimization of waste at all stages of production (for products and services), but also after their designed life cycle.
- It is a model that seeks and encourages the use of secondary materials and waste as productive resources and useful materials, giving the dimension of sustainability.
At the same time, our country begins to gradually comply through a new directive that is being discussed.
What are the key points of Greece’s new bill for waste management?
In the context of our country’s compliance with EU requirements and the importance of circular economy in the lives of citizens, Greece has started discussing a new bill.
Some of its key elements:
- Separate sorting of paper, glass, plastic, metal, and bio-waste is promoted.
- Environmental awareness is cultivated in schools for separating glass, plastic, paper, metal, batteries, and food waste.
- Separate collection of textile and hazardous household waste is established by 2024.
- Mandatory collection is established for new waste streams such as agricultural plastics, mattresses, furniture, toys, medicine.
- Mandatory utilization of livestock waste in biogas or composting units is promoted – wherever available.
- Municipalities are given the opportunity to implement “Pay as I Throw”, with lower municipal fees for those who produce less waste or recycle more.
How can municipalities effectively contribute to sustainable waste management?
Waste collection through underground bins is the first and most important step in the right direction.
GEPA LIFT‘s submersible waste compression bins reduce the volume of waste up to 8 times and the collection frequency up to 80%, with all that this entails, such as a reduction in collection costs due to a reduction in waste truck routes up to 90%, an increase in bin capacity, strengthening of recycling, etc.
At the moment there are no conditions for the installation of submersible systems with compression: they can be placed in squares and other public places, in schools, hospitals, hotels and many other businesses.
For any questions you may have about GEPA LIFT’s underground waste bins, contact us and we would be happy to assist you!