The EU will help finance a waste management project in Cyprus aiming to improve the infrastructure and collection systems for recyclable and biodegradable waste.

The green light was given by the European Commission which on Thursday announced an investment of over €110 million into LIFE programme integrated projects for environmental and climate protection in 11 EU countries that were selected after a call for proposals covering the year 2020.

The projects contribute to a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and support the European Green Deal’s objectives of making the EU climate neutral and zero-pollution by 2050, it said.

Integrated projects allow member states to pool additional EU funding sources, including agricultural, structural, regional and research funds, as well as national funding and private sector investment.

Altogether, the 11 projects are expected to attract more than €10 billion of complementary funds, significantly multiplying the resources allocated today to make a real difference on the ground.

They range from nature conservation in France and Finland, a clean air project in Poland, climate change mitigation in Lithuania, climate change adaptation in the Netherlands and Czechia and waste management in Cyprus, Latvia, Denmark and Slovenia.

Cyprus’ programme, LIFE-IP CYzero WASTE, comes under LIFE Integrated Project Environment (agricultural waste, municipal waste, waste packaging and plastic waste, waste recycling).

It has a total budget of €14.785m, of which €8.871m will be an EU contribution.

In its announcement on Thursday, the European Commission said Cyprus has one of the EU’s highest levels of municipal waste per inhabitant. Most of it goes to landfill, with less than 20 per cent recycled. Several factors hamper the country from meeting the EU’s Landfill Directive and Circular Economic Action Plan’s targets. These include a lack of infrastructure and collection systems for recyclable and biodegradable waste.

The LIFE-IP CYzero WASTE project will include the separate collection of biowaste in 50 rural, semirural and urban areas, and improving the collection of dry recyclables, like paper and metal cans, by setting up 20 green kiosks.

Seven cities will get reuse/repair centres and a network of reuse shops. Also, some ‘pay-as-you-throw’ systems will be demonstrated, which, together with introducing a landfill tax, should encourage the shift to a more circular economy, it added.