Limassol Municipality is implementing two new recycling and composting programmes as it seeks to properly manage waste in a city where only about 10% of waste per person is recycled.
Speaking at a press conference, Mayor Nicos Nicolaides highlighted the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling.
An average Limassolian produces 600 kg of rubbish per year and recycles just 60 kg, which is about 10%, the press conference heard.
A landfill operating in the village of Vati was shut down in 2018 after an eight-year delay and an integrated waste management unit has started operation in the village of Pentakomo.
Under EU rules, each country should recycle 70% of its waste by 2030 and food waste must be slashed in half.
Environment Commissioner Ioanna Panayiotou who attended the press conference welcomed the efforts to more effectively manage waste.
Proper waste management in a four-member family would result in a reduction of the volume of rubbish to slightly less than one large rubbish bag per week, she said.
Four Green Points which receive large waste objects operate in Limassol in the areas of Kolossi, Parekklisia, Fasoulla and Avdimou, while more Green Points are planned.
Properly managing waste through reduction, reuse and recycling, by collecting waste from the source, separately collecting various types of waste such as plastic, metal, paper, glass and organic waste and composting organic waste is a strategic goal for Limassol municipality, the mayor added.
The first of the two programmes, is a pilot programme and seeks to boost recycling by giving incentives.
The programme is implemented in the framework of a European project “Enhancing citizen participation in recycling processes through the implementation of incentive schemes,” of the Interreg – BalkanMed 2014-2020 programme.
Nicolaides pointed out that the project’s goal is to deal with the low recycling rates in Limassol and to encourage citizens, businesses and other bodies to actively participate in collecting waste at the source through incentive schemes.
In particular, Limassol municipality has selected 215 households in the Ekali region which will take part in the pilot programme and which will be given free bins of mixed waste (240 litres), composting bins (220 litres) and recycling bags.
Once the mixed waste bins are collected, they will be weighed and sent to the municipality to be processed.
The incentives include a reduction of the annual refuse tax, free parking at municipal parking spaces and the city’s zoo for a set period of time, the creation or upgrade of a park in the area if the goals are reached and free entrance to municipal events.
The three households to use the bins more effectively will be awarded an honorary “Green house, Green citizen” plaque. Participating families will be given free recycling bags.
Based on the data collected from the pilot programme, the municipality will gradually implement it in the entire city of Limassol through schemes which will subsidise the purchase of mixed and composting bins.
The second programme concerns the installation of autonomous mechanical composters in three points in Limassol by the sea close to the municipal garden.
The area where they will be installed was selected because the compost produced will be given out and the many people pass by and will be able to be informed about the process.
Composting machines will be placed on a concrete floor and will be fenced. A special access system will be in place which will be accessible to everyone, including people with mobility problems.
The municipality of Limassol has signed a contract for the design and implementation of the system of the automatic mechanic composters of a value of €164,500.
The contract is co-funded by the EU, by Greece and Cyprus national funds and it is part of the ACUA INTERREG V-A Greece – Cyprus 2014 – 2020 programme, in which the municipality participates as a partner.
(Cyprus News Agency)