NewsLocalCyprus produced 543,000 tons of solid waste in 2020

Cyprus produced 543,000 tons of solid waste in 2020

March 18 marks World Recycling Day set to raise awareness on the important role of recycling and reuse which are the key to convert waste into resources for a circular economy.

In Cyprus in 2020, according to figures by CyStat, the total amount of municipal solid waste produced amounted to 543,000 tons, compared to 571,000 in 2019, recording a decrease of 4.9%.

Of the 462,000 tons managed in 2020, 78.8% was disposed in landfills, 18.3% was recycled, 1.2% was used for compost purposes and 1.7% was used for energy recovery.

According to data from Green Dot, in 2021 12,514 tons of PMD, 9,889 tons of paper and 5,963 tons of glass were recycled, a total of 29,727 tons. In 2020, a total of 27,319 tons of waste were recycled.

In 2020, the average municipal waste generation per capita in the European Union was 505 kg. In Cyprus, the per capita production of municipal waste reached 609 kg, which is one of the highest among EU member states.

Denmark has the highest production of municipal waste per capita (845 kg), followed by Luxembourg (790 kg), Malta (643 kg), Germany (632 kg) and Cyprus (609 kg).

According to the national waste management plan, the key to the circular economy is to turn waste into a resource. The goals and objectives set in European legislation are key for improving waste management, motivating innovation in recycling, reducing landfill use and creating incentives to change consumer behaviour.

EU figures show that in Europe today 16 tons of materials are used per person per year, of which 6 tons end up as waste. Despite the fact that waste management continues to improve in the EU, the European economy today is still losing significant amounts of potential secondary raw materials, such as electricity waste metal, wood, glass, paper and plastic.

According to the Environmental Data Centre and Eurostat, in terms of household waste alone, every person in Europe currently produces, on average, half a ton of this waste. Only 40% is reused or recycled and in some countries more than 80% still ends up in landfills.

Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) such as computers, televisions, refrigerators and mobile phones are the fastest growing waste streams in the EU.

As far as vehicles are concerned, it is estimated that each year at the end of their life cycle they produce between 7 and 8 million tons of waste in the European Union, which should be properly managed. Each year, approximately 800,000 tons of car batteries, 190,000 tons of industrial batteries and 160,000 tons of batteries used by consumers enter the European Union and not all quantities are collected and recycled properly at the end of their life, increasing the risk of hazardous substances being released.

Construction and Demolition Waste is one of the heaviest and most massive waste streams generated in the EU and is considered a priority stream. They account for 25% – 30% of all waste generated in the EU and consist of many materials, including concrete, bricks, plaster, wood, glass, metals, plastics, various solvents, asbestos and excavation soils, most of which can be recycled.

Most licensed metal waste managers in Cyprus (collection, transport and treatment) are also licensed to manage waste streams of electrical and electronic equipment, inks and toners. A total of 107 licensed entities are listed. Also, there are currently 23 Green Points and 4 mobile units operating in Cyprus.

The various clinical waste is collected by producers / holders of clinical waste (hospitals, clinics, dental clinics, large livestock units, etc.) by licensed collectors and transported to licensed treatment plants, where they are subjected to appropriate sterilization and then waste is disposed of in appropriate waste disposal sites. There are only 2 licensed involved management bodies in Cyprus.

Waste edible oils and fats are collected directly from the various restaurants, hotels, etc by licensed collectors-carriers, temporarily stored and used either directly in special treatment plants for the production of biogas and then for the production of electricity and heat or energy either for biodiesel production or electricity generation, or for export to overseas units, or even as poultry feed.
Hotels and restaurants / taverns are required by law to comply with contracts with licensed collectors.

In terms of EU recycling targets, by 2025 65% of all packaging, 50% of all plastics, 25% of wood, 70% of iron, 50% of aluminium, should be recycled, 70% of the glass and 75% of the paper / cardboard.

According to a survey in Cyprus, 73% of the households are buying more food than the required amount and 85% of households said that when preparing or ordering food, there is always a surplus. According to the survey, the average household throws 23% of its weekly purchases in food, vegetables and fruits in the trash.

The Youth Dynamics organisation launched an environmental campaign last January which will wrap up in May with an Erasmus youth exchange activities program named Recycle.

On March 22, on the occasion of Water Day, beaches will be cleaned in Larnaca district, Vasilis Christofi of Youth Dynamics told the Cyprus News Agency.

He said that around 200 people are involved in this campaign and activities are carried out in all districts, such as tree planting, cleaning of beaches, parks and neighbourhoods etc. The campaign named “Thinking Ecologically” aims at raising awareness that we can change small and simple daily activities and adopt new habits for the benefit of the environment.

He said that youth organisations are involved and the aim is to get in touch with local authorities and schools in order to have a collaboration of events and activities under the umbrella of the Ministries of agriculture, rural development and environment and education, culture, youth and sports.


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