Cyprus has not yet managed to meet its goals for glass recycling and drastic measures are needed, according to Elena Christodoulidou, environment officer at the Department of Environment in an interview with the Cyprus News Agency.
Christodoulidou said drastic measures to increase the percentage of recycled glass and avoid EU fines.
She said packaging glass, which is gathered from households and the commercial/industrial sector, is used in the production process for cement by Vassiliko Cement Works, through the company Enerco-Energy Recovery.
Another unit for glass processing has been given a licence, MS (SKYRA) Vassas Ltd, which produces sand by crushing and grinding glass, to add to earthworks materials, she added.
“The processing companies and those for gathering and transporting have passed through a specific process to be granted a licence for the management of waste,” she said. The list of all licensed waste managers is posted on the website of the department of environment.
Asked about the percentage of glass recycled in Cyprus, Christodoulidou said there were two European Directives concerning glass with specific aims. Regarding waste, Directive 98/2008/EU has been incorporated into the national legislation on waste, namely Law 185(Ι)/2011.
“According to this Law, there is an obligation to establish the separate collection of at least paper, metal, plastic and glass by the year 2015, not only packaging, such as glass bottles, jars, windows etc”, she said.
She added that by the year 2020 Cyprus will have to recycle 50 per cent in total weight, in the sectors of preparing for reuse and recycling, of at least paper, metal, plastic and glass waste recovered from households, and possibly other sources.
Regarding packaging and packaging waste, Christodoulidou said Directive 94/62/EU has been incorporated into the national legislation on packaging and packaging waste, namely Law 32(Ι)/2002-2012.
The aim was by 31.12.2012 to recycle 60 per cent of glass packaging, she said. “We have only achieved 32.4 per cent for the year 2012,” she added.
Although Cyprus has not met its objectives, it has recorded an increase since 2010, when the recycling of glass packaging stood at 25.2 per cent.
“It appears from the percentage of recycling that we have achieved that we have not yet reached the percentage demanded by the European Directives on glass packaging, while for other packaging materials, e.g. metal and paper, we have surpassed the aims set,” Christodoulidou said.
“There is a demand for drastic measures to increase these percentages and avoid fines from the EU.”
Such measures could include new actions to promote separate collection, stricter checks and inspections by the authorities, action by the collective system, cooperation of all involved departments with the local authorities, and cultivating awareness among the public.
Asked if the use of glass waste translated into saving money for industry, Christodoulidou said that “in an age when the whole of Europe is debating a circular economy, the use of glass waste and in a broader sense all waste from industry, as resources, offers significant benefits to the industry itself as regards saving money and energy etc, as well as towards protecting the environment”.
The collection of glass packaging is done with the green bell-shaped bins, which are deposited at central points in municipalities and communities. (CNA)