Cyprus Mail

Recycling blunder could see Cyprus lose out extension to landfill target  

CYPRUS may lose out on EU ‘grace period’ to reach recycling targets due to miscalculation of the figures to date, a Cypriot ME said on Friday.

The miscalculation for 2013 may deprive Cyprus of the opportunity to claim a five-year extension from Brussels while conforming with new EU targets for waste management.

This, in turn, may have an effect on creating the necessary infrastructure and on the cost it entails for the state.

In an interview with the Cyprus News Agency, AKEL MEP Neoclis Sylikiotis, who is also the shadow rapporteur on behalf of the European United Left (GUE/NGL) group, warned that a mistake, increasing total recycling figures from 14 per cent to 22 per cent, needs to be corrected, in order for Nicosia to be given the necessary extra five years for its adjustment.

He said, moreover, that the ongoing discussion to shape new EU targets for waste needs to take into account the inequalities and in particular, the economic situation of southern European countries.

Last Tuesday the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy of the European Parliament (ITRE)  started the debate concerning the forthcoming amendment in the relevant waste directive, on the basis of a European Commission proposal that provides, inter alia, for a common EU target for recycling 65 per cent of municipal waste by 2030.

Seven countries that, according to Eurostat data, have recycled less than 20 per cent of their waste in 2013, will have the possibility of extending their adjustment period by five years, until 2035. These member states are Estonia, Greece, Croatia, Latvia, Malta, Romania and Slovakia.
Cyprus is not included in this group, since its recycling share was 22 per cent, according to Eurostat.

“There has been a mistake in the calculation process” Sylikiotis told CNA, due to the fact that calculations included a material that ought to be excluded. “If you take out this percentage, recycling in Cyprus during 2013 amounted to 14 per cent only,” he added.

He said the Commission, which drafted the seven-country list entitled to an extension, has taken the incorrect data from Eurostat and now Cyprus’ department of environment, is appealing to the European Commissioner for the Environment to correct the mistake.
“We are asking for the mistake to be corrected and for Cyprus to be added to the countries entitled to an extension,” said Sylikiotis.

He made reference to the situation in Cyprus and other countries in Europe`s South, that are dealing with economic problems, noting that their situation should also be considered while allocating future EU funds.

“We ask for EU investment and structural funds to be directed towards the development of the necessary infrastructure for waste management, otherwise we cannot set targets and demand other countries to conform with them,” he said.

In its revised legislative proposals concerning the 2008 waste directive, the European Commission asks, for an increase for reuse and recycling targets for packaging waste, a gradual limitation of the landfilling of municipal waste to 10 per cent by 2030 and introducing minimum conditions for extended producer responsibility. (CNA)

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