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The Organic Stream insights on the latest happenings in the recycling sphere
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New case study: The story of Contarina shows that 85% recycling is possible!

New case study: The story of Contarina shows that 85% recycling is possible! | Recycling News Channel | |

This case study proves that high recycling targets are not only feasible, they also save money and create jobs

Zero Waste Europe publishes today a new case study showing that in less than 15 years it is possible to reach more than 80% in separate collection whilst reducing costs and creating jobs.

Contarina is responsible for the management of waste in most of the province of Treviso where they serve 554,000 inhabitants and reaching average levels of source separation of 85% whilst generating only 53kg of non-recyclable waste per inhabitant and year. In contrast, the EU average level of source separation is 42% and a 285kg per inhabitant and year of residual waste.

It’s not only these impressive rates that make Contarina a zero waste champion, but its commitment to continuously improve its performance and advance towards zero waste. Good proof of this is the goal to recycle 96,7% of the waste by 2022 and reduce the residual fraction to 10kg per inhabitant and year.

“This experience proves that the targets set in the circular economy package, which VP Timmermans plans to withdraw, are not only realistic but they are the right way to stimulate the economy; creating jobs and increasing resource efficiency” said Joan Marc Simon, Director of Zero Waste Europe

Today, these case studies show that, in contrast with the outdated idea of burning or burying our waste, preventing, reusing and recycling it create jobs and resilience, save money, and protect the environment and public health.

The Organic Stream's insight:

Another excellent case study just hot off the presses from Zero Waste Europe. It reports that a vital ingredient for Contarina's success was the commitment from the local government to keep incineration out of the system altogether (which comes as no surprise!).

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Great News! Gipuzkoa to save €250 million after scrapping the construction of the incineration plant

Great News! Gipuzkoa to save €250 million after scrapping the construction of the incineration plant | Recycling News Channel | |

"Although Gipuzkoa will have to pay the so-called SWAP, speculative products contracted by the former managers of the GHK (the Gipuzkoa Consortium for Waste Management), it will still have significant savings after stopping the construction of the incineration plant to have more recycling-oriented facilities."

The Organic Stream's insight:

This is an important story. Without cases like this, governments and municipalities who are (perhaps tentatively) questioning the viability of incineration in their community may sometimes lack the confidence needed to make a stand.

Here we have a clear example of how much can be saved by investing in sustainable material management infrastructure and fighting against a badly planned (and unsustainable) incineration project.

The Gipuzkoa provence was set to build an oversized incinerator - which, on top of the €500 million budget, would have forced them to import waste or raise taxes to keep the plant running. This is not an uncommon problem with incineration plants (Sweden is set to import nearly 1.5 million tonnes of waste from 2015 per year for this purpose, for example).

Their success in scrapping the project means great cost-savings for Gipuzkoa. Although they will have to build alternative (and more sustainable) infrastructure and still pay SWAP fees  - they are still set to save €250 million.

Thanks to Zero Waste Europe for translating.

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Kenoi pulls plug on incinerator plan, West Hawaii

Kenoi pulls plug on incinerator plan, West Hawaii | Recycling News Channel | |
Citing uncertainty about oil prices and instability in the ownership of the state’s electric utility, Mayor Billy Kenoi on Friday yanked the plug on a proposed waste-to-energy incinerator.
The Organic Stream's insight:

"Instead, the mayor said, he will focus on diverting more waste from the county’s two landfills, in particular organic and green waste."

Another success story in the fight against incineration. Well done, Mayor Kenoi!

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DCC report recommends Poolbeg incinerator proceeds - Waste Management World

"A report issued today by the council's chief executive Owen Keegan states that the waste project is needed and makes commercial sense.

The decision comes after a favourable value for money audit yesterday by the National Finance Development Agency

Plans for a Poolbeg incinerator, which date back to 1996, have been consistently opposed by local politicians because of its size and its central location."

The Organic Stream's insight:

It's a real shame to see that this incinerator will go ahead, after so many years of opposition.

A major argument for its construction is that Ireland needs to export its waste to other countries to be incinerated. While recycling is not an instant solution for the waste being generated at the moment, it is a growing trend in Ireland and funds should be invested in encouraging recycling as opposed to building incinerators.

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