Approved the new National Waste Management Plan – Hatzidakis: “We are trying to cover the lost ground”

The new 10-year National Waste Management Plan (ECHR) was approved by the Council of Ministers – following a proposal by the Minister of Environment and Energy, Kostis Hatzidakis .

This took into account the comments of the consultation submitted by stakeholders and citizens.

Some of the objectives for the new ECHR 2020-2030 are:

  • Landfill at 10% by 2030, five years earlier than the Community obligation (2035)
  • Cessation of uncontrolled waste disposal and rehabilitation of illegal landfills by 2022
  • Increase recycling to 55% in 2025 and to 60% in 2030 (including biowaste)
  • Separate collection of organic waste (coffee bin) and development of relevant infrastructure throughout the country by 2022
  • Full coverage of the country until 2030 with 43 Waste Treatment Units (WAS) and 43 – 46 Bio Waste Treatment Units (MEVA).
  • Operation of four (4) power generation units with energy utilization of MEA residues, as is done throughout Europe.

After the approval of the new ECHR 2020-2030 by the Council of Ministers, Kostis Hatzidakis stated:
“Guided by good European practices, we try to make up for lost ground. By advocating recycling, we aim to reverse the sad picture of illegal landfills and landfilling!
As it is a fact that Greece occupies the 4th worst performance in waste management in all of Europe, with the new ECHR we are trying to make this position a thing of the past. For example, by the end of 2020, 17 modern Waste Treatment Plants will have been auctioned, out of 6 currently in operation.

With the new Road Map we show the way to the Local Government, to the Industry, to the institutions and to all those involved how the waste management can be modernized. At the same time, we are involving the citizen in this new national effort.

Greece’s long delay makes the task of waste management a Heraklion project. Perhaps, it is the most difficult issue in the Ministry of Environment and Energy. But we are determined to succeed. It is a matter of national dignity “.

The secretary general waste management coordination, Manolis Grafakos stated:
“With the new ECHR, the recycling effort – environmentally friendly – starts in every home, giving citizens financial incentives.”

The new ECHR provides for:

  • Auction of a total of 17 MEAs by the end of 2020
  • Construction of a total of 27 MEAs by the end of 2023
  • Already, 3 Waste Processing Units have been auctioned (Zakynthos, Lefkada, Nafpaktos) and another 7 are under construction (Alexandroupoli, Thebes, Ilia, Amari, Arcadia, Messinia, Laconia). For 2020, the goal is to have a total of 17 MEAs auctioned. It is predicted that by the end of 2023, 27 Waste Treatment Units will have been constructed throughout Greece.

The 10 main Objectives
The above objectives will be achieved by taking 10 necessary measures:

  1. The modernization of the “landfill fee” of landfills and the application in practice of the principle “I pay as much as I throw”.
  2. The promotion of the separate collection and the strengthening of the collection network of recyclable materials with 4 recycling streams (paper, glass, plastic, aluminum).
  3. The complete development of a network for the collection of organic waste (coffee bin) by the end of 2022.
  4. The increase and upgrade of the Recyclable Materials Sorting Centers (KDAW) in order to meet the new increased recycling needs of the country.
  5. The recovery of energy from the treatment of organic waste (biomass) but also the production of secondary materials (compost) in the context of the circular economy.
  6. The creation of the first landfill (Landfill for Hazardous Waste) for the holistic management of the country’s waste in accordance with EU requirements.
  7. The creation of a system of producer responsibility for the plastic waste of the greenhouse and the plastics for the packaging of pesticides.
  8. The extension of the Extended Producer Liability to new product categories, such as furniture, mattresses, expired drugs, waste from photovoltaic and wind farms, toys, etc.
  9. Continuous information and awareness of stakeholders.
  10. Increasing the energy utilization of waste residues and the development of energy production units in order to reduce landfilling.

The following are specifically emphasized for this measure:
Contrary to the claims of some parties, this measure is in perfect harmony with the practice of almost all European states. It is not combustion but energy utilization. More than 400 such units operate in almost all EU Member States and some of them within city centers

Note: The electronic consultation that lasted from 6 to 25 August, was preceded by a pre-consultation -with presentations and meetings of the political leadership of the Ministry- with all the involved bodies of the Local Government, as well as with collective bodies. Taking into account all their comments and remarks, the new ECHR clarifies that:

1) The “cost to the citizen” dimension is highlighted so that it can be understood that through the principle of “Pay as I Fly (PDO)” and the promotion of recycling, the benefit for everyone is not only environmental but can become economical.
2)RIS is the competent body for the implementation of the necessary energy utilization units that will be made with PPP, which determines:

  • The number of units
  • the specifications
  • location but also The tender process

3) It is now foreseen the institutionalization of specifications and control of the compost produced by the Bio Waste Treatment Units (BWW) .3

4) For the utilization of the waste treatment wastes, the domestic energy-intensive industries (cement industry, ceramics, etc.) are preferred, without abandoning the new energy utilization units that will be created.

5) The management of sewage sludge from biological treatment will be done through the Solid Waste Management Bodies (FODSA).

Discussion on the integration of the new generation of European Waste Directives
The transposition of 4 European Waste Directives into national law was also discussed today at the Council of Ministers . A special discussion was held for 2 of them, 2018/851 and 2018/852, for which a law is required.

Kostis Hatzidakis presented the basic principles of the relevant bill which reflects the philosophy of the ECHR. This bill will include the mandatory targets set by the Directives, national compliance measures that are specified by each EU member state based on the provisions of the Directives, as well as additional measures for more efficient waste management in Greece.

The first directive 2018/851 provides for the introduction of a separate collection of textile and hazardous waste from households two years earlier (until 1/1/2025). The Draft Law provides, among other things, for the institutionalization of the possibility by the Local Authorities. apply the “I pay as much as I fly” principle. The mandatory application of this principle by large local authorities, in stores of health interest for biowaste. The modernization of the landfill fee that will finance through the Green Fund actions of the Local Authorities. for the environment and waste management, recycling and actions for research and innovation in waste management. The obligation of large industries and hotels to lead food waste to treatment plants. The strengthening and expansion of the Electronic Waste Register. The interconnection of GEMI and the National Register of Waste Producers for the fight against the contribution evasion of liable companies from the payment of their contribution to SSED. The provision of space for the equipment of separate collection of municipal waste in new buildings. The introduction of measures for the reuse of packaging materials.

The second directive 2018/852 concerns packaging and packaging waste and sets specific targets until 2025 and 2030. The Draft Law on these issues provides, among other things, the obligation to upgrade the Recycling Centers for Recycling. The creation of a guarantee return system for beverage packaging. The introduction of a single separate color for waste bins per material. The obligation of separate collection of packaging waste in hotel rooms. The obligation to install in public spaces and in public buildings multi-current bins until 31/12/2022.

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