On 23-24 February 2022, the Policy Learning Platform held an online peer review for LIPOR, the Intermunicipal Waste Management Service of Greater Porto (Portugal), which asked for advice regarding its policy challenge on separate waste collection and pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) schemes.
LIPOR manages, recovers, and treats the municipal waste produced in eight municipalities of the Greater Porto Area. LIPOR’s territory features large urban centers, very rural and mountainous areas as well as beach resorts with a high population during summer season.
LIPOR treats around 520,000 tons of municipal waste annually which is produced by about 1 million inhabitants, representing around 10% of the Portuguese population and about 10% of the municipal waste produced nationally.
The Intermunicipal Waste Management Service is already using modern waste management concepts which promote the adoption of integrated systems and the minimisation of waste disposal in landfills. LIPOR and the associated municipalities have knowledge about European PAYT models and studies regarding this subject.
However, for the Municipalities there still exists some barriers related with the cost coverage and the associated tariffs for the citizens, high prevalence of proximity collection/street containers without controlled access and few door-to-door selective collection projects.
To address the barriers and challenges in particular regarding the food waste collection, LIPOR has shown interest in the experience of other regions and municipalities to get a better understanding of:
- Efficient methods for separate biowaste collection
- Approaches to increase quantity and purity of biowaste
- PAYT schemes and self-sustainable financing models for biowaste collection and management
Alongside Katharina Krell, Magda Michaliková and Astrid Severin, our low carbon economy and environment and resource efficiency Thematic Experts, six excellent peers were invited, and participated in the peer review:
- Gemma Nohales / Teresa Guerrero, Waste Agency of Catalonia, Spain
- Peter Krause, Waste Management Company (ASF), City of Freiburg, Germany
- Piet Coopman, VVSG vzw - umbrella organization for Flemish municipalities (Flanders/Belgium)
- Enzo Vittorio Favoino, Scuola Agraria del Parco di Monza, Lombardy, Italy
- Apostolos Malamakis, Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH), Central Macedonia, Greece
The experts came together to share their experience and to provide recommendations for ways of tackling LIPOR’s challenges related to separate waste collection and PAYT systems. They provided the host with valuable insight, know-how and practical suggestions for solving the challenges presented above.
The peers made detailed recommendations on collection methods for biowaste showcasing amongst others different types of biowaste containers, collection frequencies, quality and purity of waste and approaches to rolling out the new system throughout the territory.
The peers also presented the benefits of different composting methods (home, community and central composting) as well as anaerobic digestion. Moreover, the peers also underlined the importance of citizen engagement for the success of separate waste collection and presented awareness-raising and waste prevention campaigns.
The peers also made detailed recommendations of financing waste management and PAYT schemes including various technical implementation options and accompanying legal, financial and social measures.
The host’s policy challenges and all the peer suggestions will soon be found in the follow-up report.
Pleased with the outcome of two full days of intense discussions moderated by the Policy Learning Platform, Fernando Leite, CEO of LIPOR, underlined: “It was very important to have this peer review. We agree that our future is going to be rooted in circular economy”
Susana Lopes from LIPOR’s International Business Unit commented: “Very good examples, very helpful discussion. The peers were very complementary and our stakeholders have had a very rich day. We have lots of material to digest and need to start working on our strategic action plan.”
Helder Claro from Porto Ambiente concluded: “This forum was extremely important since it allowed us to discuss some of the PAYT questions, and it will help us to set up a strategy for biowaste collection on which we are currently working. We were missing the comfort of an opinion from the outside. Now, we will need to work on how to integrate this into our own operations.”
From the side of the peers involved in the peer review, Teresa Guerrero from the Waste Agency of Catalonia, added: “Thank you for giving us this excellent opportunity for exchange. It will also help us to rethink our approach in Catalonia, for example how we can optimise green waste management. We have shown you our best solutions but we have not yet achieved a 100% roll-out and we have also still have a lot of work to do.”
The host used the peer review to involve local stakeholders in a very lively discussion and is now assessing the recommendations received from the peers to see how they could inform the decision-making process to improve separate waste collection and PAYT in Greater Porto.
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