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Horta ,  June 15, 2020

Azores confirm growth trend of urban waste recovery in 2019

The Regional Secretary for Energy, Environment and Tourism stated today that “the Azores recovered last year more than half of the urban waste produced (55.2%) and, consequently, the fraction disposed of in landfills was less than the amount recovered (44, 8%),” confirming the growth trend in the recovery of this type of waste. 
“In 2012, 87% of urban waste was forwarded for disposal in dumps and landfills,” recalled Marta Guerreiro, who spoke in Horta at the presentation of the report on the production and management of urban waste in the Azores in 2019. 

“The data in this report demonstrate the Region's progressive and significant evolution in the area of urban waste processing since 2012, which has been quite significant since 2016,” stressed the government official. 

According to her, "these are consistent data, seeing that the Azores have recovering the majority of urban waste since 2017, that is, for the third consecutive year." 

"In 2019, the focus is on organic recovery, which registered an increase of 10% compared to the previous year," the Regional Secretary noted, reinforcing that we continue to pursue this path "towards an ever increasing recovery of waste." 

At the presentation of the report, Marta Guerreiro pointed out that “material recovery (recycling) evolved from 9.6% in 2012 to 22.6% in 2019,” while “organic recovery (composting) rose from only 3.6% in 2012 to 15.5% in 2019." As she emphasised, these results evidence the Region's efforts over the last few years." 

Marta Guerreiro also pointed out that the rate of preparation for reuse and recycling stood at 38.5% in 2019, while biodegradable urban waste disposed of in landfills corresponded to 61.8% of the reference quantity (the year 1995)." 

“The results achieved in terms of urban waste recovery and elimination arise from the greater awareness of populations, the improved efficiency of waste collection and processing systems, namely with the expansion of selective collection, the full operation of Waste Processing Centres on the seven islands with less population and the construction of the Terceira Energy Recovery Centre,” said the government official.
The Secretary for the Environment also highlighted “the fact that six islands of the Azores (Flores, Corvo, Faial, São Jorge, Graciosa and Santa Maria) have reached the "Landfill Zero" target, with the full recovery (100%) of their urban waste." 

In her speech, Marta Guerreiro highlighted the various preventive measures implemented, along with the approach to the issue of waste in regular educational and environmental awareness activities. 

In this regard, she pointed out the follow-up of the TV campaign "Say NO to disposable plastics," the guidelines and measures to reduce waste production and encourage reusing and recycling in public services and in the public business sector, and the measures to reduce the use of plastic bags. 

“Between 2016, when the measures began to be implemented, and 2019, 225 million fewer plastic bags were distributed in retail trade, removing around 1,500 tonnes of plastics from consumption,” said the government official. 

Marta Guerreiro also recalled that “a pilot project for the selective collection of organic waste in the Azores was launched in 2019, providing 1,000 specific containers to the municipalities that intended to start the selective collection of biodegradable urban waste, with 14 of the 19 Azorean municipalities joining this initiative." 
“This year, we saw the approval of the project for the implementation of the non-reusable beverage packaging deposit system in the Azores by the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism 2014-2021, through the European Economic Area Grants (EEA Grants). It aims to implement, by the end of 2021, a system composed of 25 machines for the deposit of non-reusable plastic, glass and metal beverage packaging to be installed on all islands, according to the territorial dispersion, with, at least, one piece of equipment per municipality. 
“This is a project of nearly one million Euros, financed at 90%, that will be structuring for the environment, climate change and the low carbon economy. It was the best scored in the EEA call - priority area category for packaging deposit solutions," said the Regional Secretary. According to her, the initiative will encourage reuse and recycling, playing a decisive role on the circular economy.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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