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URBANREC project’s objectives reflected in the Flemish implementation plan

There is a perfect match between the objectives of the URBANREC-project and the Flemish implementation plan for household and comparable industrial waste.

On September 16, 2016 the Flemish Government approved a new Implementation Plan for Household Waste and Comparable Industrial Waste (see http://www.ovam.be/uitvoeringsplan for the English version of the executive summary). It will run until 2022. 

The implementation plan translates the Flemish waste and materials policy in the coming years into targets and implementation actions (59). The focus is on the local level, both for households and for companies, in order to further decrease the residual waste amount. It gives ideas and tools for the local authorities enhancing waste prevention, reuse, improving source-separated selection, recycling and decreasing street litter and illegal dumping, and this in close collaboration with the citizens, associations and companies. 

Many of the actions defined at Flemish level are closely related to the objectives of the URBANREC-project. Therefore, the outcome of the URBANREC project will be integrated in the further development of the Flemish policy in order to close the material loop(s).

A selection of some important actions

Reuse

Reuse plays a prominent role in Flanders in the local waste- and materials policy. Therefore, to increase further reuse, the actions planned, lay an extra focus on reinforcing reuse throughout the whole product chain. For this, the financing of reuse will be revised. Furthermore, there will be a permanent focus on the local anchoring of reuse and the role of current reuse centres, with attention on innovation and collaboration. Moreover, focus will be on reuse at companies and organisations. 

Hence, the differences in local reuse are being analysed and the first steps to revise the funding with attention to alternative financing that anchors more firmly reuse in the product chain, are taken (literature research, discussions with stakeholders). Based on these results, action plans will be elaborated and the monitoring of the sector will be optimised. 

Several initiatives within the URBANREC project fit in perfectly with the plan: such as the in-house dismantling service and the collaborative network that is being set up in the reuse centre of South-West Flanders, as well as the new mobile app for bulky waste that will be developed by IMOG.

Customised accompaniment

The mixed bulky waste still contains many materials and goods that can be re-used or recycled. The amount of residual waste can therefore be reduced by a good bulky waste management: the municipalities with high amounts of mixed bulky waste will be accompanied to work out an action plan to reduce their amount (e.g. analysis of the policy, the situation in the field and a mapping of the local re-use). 

Moreover, OVAM will support the local authorities and intermunicipal organizations (association of two or more municipalities with the purpose of realizing tasks of common interest) who must do the biggest effort to achieve their residual waste target. For 2017, the preparation of the visitations is standardized (thorough analysis of the waste data and policy, presentation with benchmarking with municipalities with the same socio-economic point of view, …) and the municipalities and intermunicipal organizations are selected and visited. During these visitations the data, policy and further actions are discussed. It’s the responsibility of the municipality or intermunicipal organization to present a roadmap, to implement and to monitor it and to achieve their target at the end of the planned period. 

Apart from that, ‘learning networks’ will also be set up in which local authorities can learn and adopt good practices from municipalities with a better score and with similar socio-economic characteristics. 

The URBANREC project’s results on new alternatives for bulky waste collection, classification, separation and re-use as well as on the new mobile application and the customer portal app will be integrated in these visitations and learning networks.

Moreover, to involve all 308 municipalities in Flanders in reducing the amount of residual waste, the possibility of introducing a benchmark-tool that can be used to analyse waste and materials policy and to exchange best practices, is being investigated. Currently, a study is conducted to identify the data and indicators needed. 

Specific streams

Both the URBANREC project and the implementation plan have defined specific actions for furniture, mattresses and hard plastics aiming a significant reduce of the total amount of residual waste and to increase re-use and recycling.

For mattresses, the OVAM has taken the initiative to investigate whether an extended producer responsibility would be an option as legal instrument in Flanders. For this, discussions between the different stakeholders are ongoing. 

For furniture, OVAM is investigating which policy instrument can promote re-use, recovery, source-separated collection and recycling of discarded furniture. At the moment the different actors in the furniture chain (producers, retail, re-use sector, processors) are being contacted to get an overall view of the chain. Based on the research results, the most optimal mix of policy tools (EPR, …) will be implemented. 

In 2017, a source-separated collection of post-consumer hard plastics for households became mandatory.

» Author: URBANREC NEWSLETTER

» Publication Date: 16/06/2017

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement N° 690103