The EC is contributing 8.9 million euros to support a clean energy transition in Cyprus. More specifically, the EC's LiFE program aims to improve waste management infrastructure by increasing recycling and establishing a 'circular economy' in order to reduce recyclable and biodegradable waste products ending up in landfills.
The plan is scheduled to begin on October 1st, 2021 and will last until September 30th, 2029 with a total cost of about 14.8 million euros.
The amount doled out for Cyprus is part of a larger investment package worth 110 million Euros that is dedicated to integrated projects for environmental and climate protection. It will support new environmental and climate initiatives in 11 EU countries - Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovenia.
As outlined in an annex for the Commission’s press release, the project “Steering waste away from landfill (LIFE-IP CYzero WASTE)” is an initiative by the Department of Environment at Cyprus`s Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment to address the fact that Cyprus has one of the EU`s highest levels of municipal waste per inhabitant.
Most of this waste goes to landfills, with less than 20% recycled. Several factors hamper the country from meeting the EU`s Landfill Directive and Circular Economic Action Plan`s targets, including a lack of infrastructure and collection systems for recyclable and biodegradable waste.
“Measures will include the separate collection of biowaste in 50 rural, semirural, and urban areas, and improving the collection of dry recyclables, like paper and metal cans, by setting up 20 green kiosks” according to the details publicized.
“Seven cities will get reuse/repair centers and a network of reuse shops. Also, some `pay-as-you-throw` systems will be demonstrated, which, together with introducing a landfill tax, should encourage the shift to a more circular economy” the announcement adds.
The beneficiaries of the project include the municipalities of Nicosia, Limassol, Paphos, Larnaca, Aglandjia, Aradippou, Paralimni, Ayia Napa, Polis Chrysochous and Yeroskipou as well as several regional development agencies.
The goals of the program include the “implementation of concrete waste management actions that will support, enhance and maximize the application of the waste hierarchy and the separate collection of waste streams”, the “enhancement of the use of economic instruments in support of the circular economy and bioeconomy” and the “introduction of institutional changes by establishing an administrative structure (a new waste management coordination body) that will implement the national strategy”.
The LIFE program is the EU`s funding instrument for the environment and climate action and covers four areas: nature and biodiversity, circular economy and quality of life, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and clean energy transition.