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waste COLLECTiOn systems assessed and good pRacticeS identified

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - COLLECTORS (waste COLLECTiOn systems assessed and good pRacticeS identified)

Período documentado: 2019-06-01 hasta 2020-12-31

Five tonnes of waste per capita are generated every year in the EU. These annual 2.5 billion tonnes of waste contain large volumes of valuable materials for Europe’s industrial base. Proper collection of waste is a pre-condition for their optimal recovery. The current trend of increasing higher collection rates is promising, but progress is uneven between Members States and between regions. Good regional practices have the potential to serve as good practice examples for other regions. So far, however, results of existing studies and good practices have not been effective enough in supporting the implementation of better-performing systems elsewhere.

The main objective of the COLLECTORS project is to overcome this situation and to support decisionmakers in shifting to better-performing collection system. More concretely, the COLLECTORS project has four specific objectives:

1. Increase awareness of the collection potential by compiling, harmonizing and presenting information on waste collection systems via an online information platform.
2. Improve decision-making on waste collection by the assessment of twelve good practices on their performance on: (a) quality of collected waste; (b) economics; (c) environment; (d) societal acceptance.
3. Stimulate successful implementation by capacity-building and policy support methods that will increase the technical and operational expertise of decision-makers on waste collection.
4. Engage citizens, decision-makers and other stakeholders throughout the project for validation of project results and to ensure the usability of COLLECTORS-output.

COLLECTORS focuses on post-consumer waste collection in three specific waste streams:

Paper & packaging waste.
Waste Electronics and Electric Equipment (WEEE).
Construction & demolition waste.
The COLLECTORS approach is articulated in three sequential phases classified as “inventory”, “assessment”, and “implementation.” These three phases are supported by two continuous processes to embed the project in practice and innovation. The focus of COLLECTORS project has been in this first project period on the first two phases as well as on the two continuous processes:

Inventory of existing information on waste collection systems: the “inventory” phase was dedicated to the development of a systematic overview of waste collection systems in EU Member States and a description of their collection performance (WP1). At present, almost 250 waste collection systems (from 25 EU Member States) are identified and described in a standardized format. A dedicated webportal has been developed and all identified waste collection system are integrated. After a validation phase, the webportal is now publicly available on the website of the COLLECTORS-project (

Assessment of twelve good practices: the “assessment” phase encompasses both the analysis of the adaptability of systems (WP2) and the quantification of their environmental and economic performance (WP3). Twelve case studies were selected at the start of the phase and the various assessments are currently in progress. The case studies are expected to be finalized in the first months of the second project period.

Alignment with practice: the continuous process of alignment with “practice” ensures a participatory approach and aims for validation of COLLECTORS-activities and results. The project has identified three core groups to involve in the project: (1) citizens; (2) local and regional decision-makers; (3) value chain partners. The project has taken a wide-range of measures to enable their involvement. Measures taken by the project can be categorized in five types: (1) organization of focus groups for citizens; (2) establishment of a regional working group; (3) involvement of value chain partners in key bodies like the advisory board; (4) digital presence via the website and social media reaching between 5,073 – 19,700 stakeholders; (5) project branding like leaflets reaching around 2,000 stakeholders; (6) the organisation of two project conferences reaching around 145 stakeholders; (7) newsletters, press releases and other direct communication reaching between 5,820 – 26,000 readers; (8) presentations and networking of the project partners reaching an audience of 84,331 stakeholders.

Alignment with innovation: the continuous process of alignment with “innovation” aims for integration of state-of-the-art knowledge in the COLLECTORS project as well as dissemination of results to other projects. The project has identified a broad range of projects funded from sources such as Horizon 2020 and LIFE. Contacts with several of these projects is established; and project have participated in COLLECTORS-event and vice-versa.
COLLECTORS, as a CSA, is not focused on generating new knowledge but it is on strengthening the knowledge base. The project has done so by bringing together available information on waste collection systems for three waste streams, i.e. WEEE, paper & packaging waste, and construction & demolition waste. In order to make this strengthened knowledge base widely available, the partners have developed a searchable webportal with information on almost 250 waste collection systems and a knowledge library. In addition, the project has relied on various communication and dissemination activities to inform key stakeholders about the project’s progress, i.e. reports (publicly available online); publication on the report for the general public (e.g. in the newsletter); oral presentation at a (self-organised) conference; direct communication with relevant stakeholders. As this objective is on-going, COLLECTORS will continue this approach also for its up-coming reports.

In addition to strengthen the knowledge base, COLLECTORS has focused on the role of waste collection for the circular economy. By means of various types of assessments of collection systems, the project identified boundary conditions that can be set to improve collection for the recovery of valuable raw materials. In addition, the project assessed key dimensions like societal acceptance, economic performance and environmental impact in order to increase the eventual uptake of better performing systems by local and regional authorities. Collaborations have been initiated with other European platforms. A specific emphasis has been placed on collaboration with on-going European projects, e.g. on waste treatment, circular economy, and raw materials. More than 100 projects have been identified; 30+ have been approached for input and enlisted on the COLLECTORS website; and with 16 direct interactions have been established.

In the second part of the project, the focus will shift to implementation measures for stakeholders and continuation of the platform. In other words, the analyses from the first part will be translated into guidelines and recommendations (policy advice, sharing of knowledge via platform). In combination with the continuation of the communication activities, the project therefore expects positive impacts on the implementation of better performing collection systems, increasing knowledge levels on the relation between collection and the circular economy, introduction of beyond the state of the art R&D&I projects and eventually significant waste reductions.