Waste (2008)


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The following article appeared in the Cyprus Mail, 13 September 2008

Recycling programme expands in Nicosia
By Paul Malaos

RECYCLING organisation Green DOT Cyprus and Nicosia Municipality representatives yesterday jointly announced the launch of a recycling directive, which will take effect from October 1.

Green Dot Cyprus is a non-profit organisation, founded in 2003 by Technical Chamber KEVE, which processes domestic and industrial recyclable materials, such as glass, paper, plastic and metal.

The directive, which will target municipalities of greater Nicosia, is part of a programme that has been running successfully since February 2007. To date, the programme has been operating in Limassol, Ayios Tychonas, Mouttayiaka and Ypsonas.

While it initially accommodated 125,000 residents, in December 2007 that number grew to 260,000 and by October it is expected to exceed 425,000.

Mayor of Nicosia Eleni Mavrou called for the assistance of all households of Cyprus to help in what she described as a “worldwide environmental crisis”.

“We all know that for this programme to be effective it will take a constant nationwide effort,” said Mavrou. “It is important that we embrace recycling into our lives for its environmental benefits, but also because we have an international responsibility.”

President of Green Dot Cyprus, Michalis Spanos, said that for 2008 they estimated to process 15000 tons of recyclable material compared to the 8,000 tons that were processed in 2007. “This is evidence of the rapid expansion and success the programme has had so far,” said Spanos.

In addition, Spanos said that the state objective was to increase recycling rates 25 per cent by 2012.

The districts the programme covers will be provided with collection points for glass materials, with one being issued for every 600 residents.

Paper will be collected directly from households twice a week, while other materials such as plastic and metal will be collected weekly.

General Manager of Green Dot Cyprus Kyriakos Parpounas echoed the Mayor’s statement, saying that the key to success lay in the united effort of all residents.

Kyriakos added that recycling was just part of the solution and that all households should look upon minimising waste and consumption where possible.

The programme will also be implementing the ‘pay as you throw system’, which will charge households for collection and disposal of waste according to the volume they produce.

Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008

Although this is a step in the right direction, it is a very small one. The current production of waste is estimated at 590,000 tonnes/year. This article mentions recycling an estimation of 15,000 tonnes, a mere 2½% of the total. Even taking into account that the collection touches only half the population, that leaves a meagre 5% that is recycled. I estimate that 35-50% can be recycled without waste-to-energy conversion, while 90% can be with conversion. This is simply not good enough.

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