Barcelona’s waste collection following in the footsteps of Europe’s Zero Waste pioneer cities - Zero Waste Cities

Therese Bonnici

10 June 2021

10 June 2021 - Zero Waste Plan

Barcelona’s waste collection following in the footsteps of Europe’s Zero Waste pioneer cities

Therese Bonnici

10 June 2021 - Zero Waste Plan

Barcelona’s waste collection following in the footsteps of Europe’s Zero Waste pioneer cities

Therese Bonnici

The city of Barcelona is beginning to roll out its door-to-door separate collection system across all the city’s neighbourhoods following a successful first pilot.

After achieving strong results in the district of Sarrià, the collection system was expanded 3 weeks ago into the Sant Andreu district and achieved impressive results, with the collection rate increasing from 30% to 70% in just days. This is the first step to roll-out door-to-door separate collection to the whole metropolitan area of Barcelona by 2025. 

Door-to-door separate collection systems form the foundation of a Zero Waste City. By separating key recyclable materials – especially organics – cities can take immediate steps to significantly reduce the volume of their residual waste whilst also drastically improving the volume and quality of recycling done within the territory as a result. 

With this course of action, Barcelona is following in the footsteps of other pioneering Zero Waste Cities across Europe, such as Ljubljana, who are taking the lead in showcasing how cities can prioritise the wellbeing of both their citizens and the environment. With a population of approximately 3,2 million, the metropolitan area of Barcelona would become Europe’s biggest city implementing a zero waste strategy, spearheaded by the roll-out of this door to door and smart-bins separate collection system. Of course, with a city of this size and in such a densely populated area, there will be challenges along the way, but Zero Waste Europe and its local members will be on hand to support the city to help achieve its zero waste and net-zero goals.

From an urban metropolis like Milan to small cities like Newport in Wales, or rural towns like Salacea in Romania, door to door separate collection systems have proven to be the most effective tool cities have at their disposal to reduce waste and increase recycling, with results possible in just weeks if not months. With the European Union requiring Member States to be recycling 55% of municipal solid waste by 2025, door to door separate collection, as part of a broader zero waste strategy, is the framework to follow for any local authority wishing to go above and beyond these targets. For example, Italian Zero Waste Cities are regularly recycling 70% and above.

 

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