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WASP Tool - Development and demonstration of a waste prevention support tool for local authorities

LIFE10 ENV/GR/000622


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Contact details:

Contact person: Konstantia-Ekaterini LASARIDI
Tel: +30 210 9549164
Fax: +30 210 9514759
Email: Klasaridi@hua.gr



Project description:

Background

The increasing production of waste and its disposal constitutes a serious environmental, social and economic problem for the European Union. It is an issue of great concern that waste volumes continue to grow, despite the continuous design and implementation of advanced waste management schemes. The Waste Framework Directive (WFD) and the EU Waste Strategy (EUWS) have set waste prevention as a priority issue and waste prevention has been the main objective of both national and EU waste management policies for many years. Nevertheless, limited progress has been made so far in transforming this objective into practical action. EU and national targets have not been met and prevention measures are seldom considered as part of waste management, where the focus is invariably on waste recycling and recovery.


Objectives

The WASP Tool project aimed to prevent the production of waste through the development and proactive implementation of waste prevention strategies at the local authority level. The overall objective was to investigate, demonstrate and optimise the waste prevention potential of three Mediterranean municipalities, covering different geographic and waste policy contexts in Greece and Cyprus.

Following a review and evaluation of existing waste prevention activities in other countries, the project would develop a web-based decision support tool (the WASP Tool) to enable local authorities to select and implement the optimum waste prevention programmes for their local circumstances.

The three participating municipalities (two in Greece and one in Cyprus) planned to use the WASP Tool on a pilot basis, to design and implement local waste prevention strategies and then use the results to further refine the tool. In addition, in each of the participating municipalities, the project would implement, monitor and evaluate four waste prevention actions (two of which were home composting and food waste reduction). Finally, communication and dissemination activities regarding the WASP Tool and waste prevention in general would be designed and implemented.


Results

The LIFE WASP Tool project identified and evaluated efficient waste prevention actions that have been used throughout the EU. It successfully reached its objectives. It designed and developed an internet-based, waste prevention, decision support tool, i.e. the WASP Tool, which enables local authorities to develop customised waste prevention programmes, based on their particular needs and priorities. Then, as planned, the project developed and implemented three waste prevention strategies, one for each of the pilot areas participating in the project (two in Crete and the third in Cyprus). Four priority waste prevention actions took place in each area, two of which were common for all the three areas (i.e. food waste prevention and home composting). In addition, the LIFE team implemented extensive communication, dissemination and training activities, raising the awareness of more than one million people in the two countries on municipal waste prevention.

The main direct, quantitative environmental benefits were as follows:

  • On average 180 kg /household of organic waste annually was diverted from landfilling, through home composting, which was implemented in all three pilot areas. In total, 480 compost bins were distributed;
  • Approximately 18 000 reusable non-woven shopping bags were distributed to the public, thereby diverting from landfilling approx. 36 000 single-use plastic bags, or 145 kg of plastic bags;
  • Some 20 700 kg of clothes, footwear and toys were collected, through the installed 100 specialised bins, resulting in the diversion of approx. 15 600 kg of waste from landfilling at Heraklion;
  • An estimated 2 900 books were diverted from the “blue” bins recycling system, through the four ‘Exchange Library’ kiosks established in Chania;
  • Some 11 000 households were directly involved in the pilot waste prevention actions of the project, generating less waste; and
  • Almost three million inhabitants in Greece and Cyprus received the project's message on Waste Prevention, through the extensive communication and dissemination campaign implemented. This is noteworthy, as prior to this the waste prevention concept had often been confused by the general public with ‘recycling’.

Importantly, when the WASP Tool project started, there was no waste prevention strategy at national level, in either of the two participating countries. From a policy point of view, the project is highly relevant to the EU Thematic Strategy on Waste, which addresses waste prevention as a priority issue. In addition, and in line with the Waste Framework Directive requiring that Member States establish, by the end of 2013, national waste prevention programmes, the project contributed (i.e. providing a good Case Study) towards the development of the first national waste prevention plan for Greece. The results also aid local authorities at an EU-level to develop their own waste prevention strategies, considering that it provides estimates on investment costs and savings for the suggested interventions, per 'strategy'. Furthermore, the project demonstrated good practices in both reducing and diverting organic waste from landfilling, via the pilot implementation of home composting and the actions to prevent food waste, in line with the Landfill Directive requirements. Furthermore, the project can generate significant positive socio-economic effects through the prevention of food waste, plastic waste and paper waste, being the main waste streams targeted through the WASP Tool. The project, thus helps in implementing the Circular Economy Action Plan, especially with regards to the priority sectors.


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Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Waste - Municipal waste (including household and commercial)
Waste - Waste reduction - Raw material saving


Keywords

waste management‚  decision making support‚  preventive measure‚  municipal waste‚  local authority


Target EU Legislation

  • Waste
  • Directive 2008/98 - Waste and repealing certain Directives (Waste Framework Directive) (19.11.200 ...
  • COM(2015)614 - "Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy" (02.12.2015)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator HAROKOPIO PANEPISTIMIO (Harokopio University of Athens)
Type of organisation University
Description Harokopio University (HUA) is a flexible, highly specialised and dynamic academic institution, which is specialised in issues related to the quality of life and sustainability, including all aspects of waste management. Its ratio of journal publications per academic member of staff is the third highest of the 21 Greek universities. During the past ten years, more than 300 national, European and private-funded research programmes were implemented by HUA, which also gives it one of the highest ratios of research projects per academic member of staff among Greek universities. Through these programmes, as well as its wide ERASMUS exchange program, HUA has built an extensive network of high quality co-operation with other academic and research institutes and the private sector, at both national and international level. The WASP Tool project was will be carried out by the interdepartmental research group on “Sustainable Environmental Management and Technology” (SEMT), which has considerable experience in the area of waste management, especially organic waste, LCA, sustainable development, environmental management, population and environment interrelations, environmental mapping, as well as environmental microbiology and biotechnology.
Partners EPEM S.A., Greece Association of Solid Waste Management in Crete (EDSAK), Greece Environmental Technology LTD (ENVITECH), Cyprus Municipality of Paralimni, Cyprus Trans-municipal Company of Solid Waste Management of Chania (DEDISA), Greece

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Project reference LIFE10 ENV/GR/000622
Duration 01-OCT-2011 to 30-SEP -2014
Total budget 1,804,081.00 €
EU contribution 893,261.00 €
Project location Kypros / Kibris(Cyprus),Kriti(Ellas)

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Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Project web site Project's Twitter page
Project web site - 2 Project's Facebook page
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan AfterLIFE Communication Plan
Publication: Layman report Layman report
Publication: Technical report Project's Final technical report
Video link TV Spot 2 (1')
Video link TV Spot 1 (1')

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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version