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15 June, 2024
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Cyprus produced 543,000 tons of solid waste in 2020

462,000 tons were collected, of which only 18.3% was recycled

Source: CNA

Today, March 18, marks World Recycling Day.  It is the day when people around the world raise awareness on the importance of recycling and reuse, which are key to converting 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%.

The EU hopes that by 2025 65% of all packaging, 50% of all plastics, 25% of wood, 70% of iron, 50% of aluminum, 70% of glass and 75% of paper/cardboard should be recycled.

Of the 462,000 tons of garbage 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.

in 2021, according to data from Green Dot, 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 was 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 resources. The goals and objectives set in European legislation call for improving waste management, encouraging innovative ways in recycling, reducing landfill use and creating incentives to change consumer behavior.

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 end 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 could be properly recycled. Each year, approximately 800,000 tons of car batteries, 190,000 tons of industrial batteries and 160,000 tons of batteries used by consumers are disposed of in European Union but not all quantities are collected and recycled properly at the end of their lifespan, increasing the risk of hazardous substances being released into the environment.

Construction and Demolition Waste is one of the heaviest and most massive waste streams generated in the EU and is considered a priority. 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.

In terms of clinical waste, these are collected by licensed contractors and transported to licensed treatment plants where they are subject to appropriate sterilization and waste disposal in pre-determined sites.  There are only 2 licensed companies certified for clinical waste disposal in Cyprus.

In addition, used edible oils and fats are collected directly from the various restaurants, hotels, etc by licensed collectors, temporarily stored and either sent to special treatment plants that turn them into biogas for the production of electricity or are exported overseas.  They can also be as poultry feed.  Hotels and restaurants/taverns are required by law to partner with licensed collectors.

The EU hopes that by 2025 65% of all packaging, 50% of all plastics, 25% of wood, 70% of iron, 50% of aluminum, 70% of glass and 75% of paper/cardboard should be recycled.

According to a survey in Cyprus, 73% of households buy more food than the required amount, moreover, 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.


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