Local Authorities on the basis of the Legislation governing their establishment and operation, have the responsibility and authority to collect, transport and dispose of the Solid and Hazardous Waste the which as of 2002 must be carried out according to the provisions of the Solid and Hazardous Waste Law. They also have the authority over all the activities taking place within their boundaries. As such, the operation of the household packaging recovery System which is necessary to be developed in order to achieve the recovery and recycling targets provided for by the Legislation, presupposes the close cooperation of the System with the Local Authorities. Such cooperation is developed and described in the agreement signed by the System and the participating authorities which covers the technical planning and the operation of the System’s projects as well as the information to the citizens with regard to the System and their obligations vis-à-vis the need to sort waste at source (at the household level).
How does the System Operate?
In order to recover household packaging, the System develops in cooperation with the Local Authorities sorting programmes at source, as well as collection and sorting programmes in special factories and finally programmes from packaging waste recycling or energy recovery.
In order to recover commercial/industrial packaging, the System helps the existent recovery industry of the materials through financial Incentives that aim to activate the free market and as such to increase the quantities of the packaging recovered and utilized.
On the 5th of February 2007 the projects of the System started at 5 municipalities i.e. the Municipalities of Strovolos in Nicosia and the Municipalities of Yermasogeia, Mesa Geitonia, Ayios Athanasios and Kato Polemidia in Limassol. In addition, there is a description of the projects in the “New Projects” section in the “News”. In September 2006 projects for the recovery and recycling of commercial and industrial Packaging were also launched.
On the 15th of December 2007 the projects in Limassol were expanded to cover the Municipality of Limassol (the largest municipality in Cyprus) as well as the communities of Ypsonas, Ayios Tychonas and Moutayiaka. With this expansion the System covers more than 250,000 people. Up to the beginning of 2013, the system followed a series of expansions and covered 28 Municipalities and approximately 50 Communities. The system will continue to expand its operation in order to cover the remaining of the island.
The System in Practice – Household Packaging
The system provides for the sorting of household packaging in the household in the following three subcategories.
• Glass Stream:
Packaging glass (bottles, jars and other glass packaging etc.), that shall be transported from the citizens at bring points where there will be placed in special bell-shaped bins. From these points a subcontractor collects the glass with special vehicles when the bins are at least 70% full (see relevant pictures)
• Paper Stream:
Packaging paper (cartons and cardboards newspapers, magazines, office paper, leaflets etc) that are collected door to door with a waste collection vehicle, twice a month by a subcontractor of the System.
• PMD Stream:
(Plastic bottles and flasks, metal cans tins (aluminum and steel) and paper based drink packages (tetrapak)), that are collected door to door with a waste collection vehicle, once a week by a subcontractor of the System.
The paper and glass stream shall be delivered to recyclers directly in order to have them cleaned recycled. On the other hand, the PMD stream shall be transported to special Sorting Plants that serve the System in order to have them sorted out in different subcategories and then they will be forwarded to the recyclers. There are already two Sorting Plants, one in Nicosia (Latsia Industrial Area) and one in Limassol (close to the Moni Cement Factory) working for the System.
The strategic choice of the System to implement a kerbside collection system creates the need for the closest possible cooperation with the local authorities. We consider that an important part of the System’s success depends on this cooperation and the support that the System will have from the local authorities.
An additional element of the System that renders necessary the close cooperation with the local authorities, is the choice of the System to approach the issue of the selection of materials-targets not only in the narrow meaning of packaging materials but by combining the collection of packaging paper along with the other types of paper for a better environmental result. This choice makes necessary the co-financing of the management of the paper stream by the System and the local authorities. Such an agreement has been reached officially and is basis for the co-financing of the projects between the system and the Local Authorities.
Benefit/Cost for the Local Authorities from their cooperation with the System
The Local Authorities benefit from their cooperation with the System in various ways amongst which the ones below:
1. Reduction of the waste collection and transport cost, since a significant part (packaging) is collected and transported on the System’s funding. It is important to note that as time goes by this benefit will be maximized with the improvement of the public’s participation in the sorting at source and the following increase in the quantities that the System shall manage (Packaging constitutes 50% of the volume and 30% of the weight of the municipal solid waste).
2. Reduction of the waste disposal cost (landfill fee), since a significant part of them shall be transported by the System elsewhere to be recovered and recycled. It is important to note that once the Landfills in Nicosia and Limassol shall operate the disposal cost shall be drastically increased compared to the current costs.
3. Environmental information of the public and gradual development of the environmental awareness of the Citizens which shall be beneficial for many other issues that are important to the Local Authorities.
4. Improvement of the image of the Local Authority vis-à-vis its Citizens.
5. Improvement of the image of the Local Authorities vis-à-vis the wider society.
6. Creation of new employment positions in the area.
7. Social participation that shall be utilized in the future for other programmes as well
8. Improvement of the Citizens’ quality of life.
9. Development of the Local Authorities in a field that they are lagging behind compared to other countries of the European Union.
10. Acquisition of valuable experience from the Local Authorities in a new field through a well-organized initiative.
As a counter-balance to the above benefits, the Legislation itself provides that the Local Authorities need to have a reasonable contribution to the system’s costs that shall reflect at least their immediate financial benefits from the operation of the System. On the basis of this provision and through the positive approach of the local authorities regarding the financial participation in this initiative which contributes to the wider society, the co-funding agreements of the projects that were mentioned before were formed.
The existing agreement is valid for the period 2007-2008. To prepare for the future agreements after 2008, the System along with the participating local authorities have employed the University of Cyprus as an external Independent Consultant to study the short, medium and long term potential benefits for the local authorities from the implementation of the recycling programmes. The study should be completed before the end of the year.
Main Elements of the Agreement of the System with the Local Authorities
Below are the basic parameters of the Agreement that the System signs with the participating Local Authorities. This agreement is one and non-negotiable for all the participating Local Authorities.
• Licensing of GDC on behalf of the Government
• GDC has the right and is the exclusive licensee of the Green Dot Mark in Cyprus.
• The role of the Local Authorities in the management of the household packaging waste.
• The need for the local authorities and GDC to try to reduce the costs for the consumer – matter of joint liability
• Both parts agree that an integrated approach of the paper/carton stream (packaging and non-packing) is more efficient and environmentally beneficial.
Packaging, Packaging Waste, PMD stream, selective collection etc.
Purpose of the Agreement
• Reference to the European Parliament and the Council Directive 94/62/EC and 2004/12/EC and the Packaging and Waste Packaging Law of the 12th of April 2002 and the Regulations based on this legislation,
• The GDC and the local authorities sign cooperation contracts with the aim to
- Secure the selective collection, and if it is deemed necessary (e.g. PMD stream), the sorting of household packaging waste,
- The collection is based on the framework of a best collection scenario that GDC drew up and it is described in the contract or the annexes,
- Supervision and safeguarding of the proper efficiency of the activities that are described (including the management),
- Cooperation with the aim to increase the environmental awareness of the public,
- Effort to improve the actions to reduce the cost vis-à-vis the consumers,
- To consider the materials that are delivered to the recyclers and the Sorting Plants property of GDC
Rights and responsibilities of the contracting parties
• Payment: GDC pays the Local Authority or a subcontractor the amount corresponding to the cost of the selective collection of the household packaging waste. The local authority shall, in exchange, execute its specified duties with consistency and precision, or shall help with the supervision of the respective subcontractor,
• The role of the local authority in the control of the invoices and the transfer of information to the subcontractors,
• Specific rules (payment and pricing) for the part of the stream of the paper/cardboard which is not packaging
• The organization of a joint Control Committee to supervise and evaluate the operational procedures,
• Both contracting parties are responsible to conduct the necessary checks in order to safeguard the full fulfiment of their obligations and those of the subcontractors in the framework of the Agreement,
• Both contracting parties undertake the responsibility to dispose sufficient insurance coverage with regard to their urban responsibility for losses that may arise from their activities (it also burdens the subcontractors through their contracts),
• With the appropriate and organized communication policy, both contracting parties shall encourage the citizens to sort properly their waste packaging
• Both contracting parties have a duty to provide each other any necessary information in order to fulfil all their legal responsibilities.
Rights and responsibilities of GDC
• Rules that relate to the selection of recyclers: how recyclers are going to be chosen (invitation to tenders), which standards shall be fixed, how the funding shall take place (who receives a possible income, who pays for the possible recycling costs etc)
Rights and responsibilities of the local authorities
• Rules on subcontracting,
• The local authorities undertake, if they wish and under commercial conditions, to collect the household packaging waste according to the defined collection plan,
• To safeguard that schools, organizations, small enterprises etc. may not be excluded from selective collection,
• The role of the local authorities in the control and verification of the information deriving from the collectors,
• The duty of the local authority to enact local regulations that shall impose if possible to the inhabitants to participate in the sorting of the materials at source and to forbid them to place waste other than that described in the contracts in the packaging streams.
• Validity of the agreement: (6 years as the licensing of the System).
Rules for the early termination of the contract:
• What will happen in the event of GDC losing its license
• What will happen in case the other contracting party does not respect its obligations on the basis of the contract
• Which are the repercussions of the termination
• Secrecy: confidentiality of the information
• Intellectual property
• Force majeure
• Applicable law
• Body: in case of a conflict between the contracting parties that regards the validity, interpretation and execution of the contract
• Amendments and additions: how can they be made official?
• Waste covered by the GDC collection and recovery System: glass, packaging paper and cardboard, plastic bottles and flasks, metal packaging, paper based drink packages,
• The funding terms with regard to the collection,
• The involvement of GDC in the expenses of various activities (increase of the environmental awareness, schools, etc)
• Rules on the pricing