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Integrated waste management is one of the greatest challenges facing the metropolis of Barcelona. This includes prevention and taking the steps necessary to move from a linear to a circular economy in which the service life of materials, products and components is extended or a new use is found for them. On the basis of this, the main goal of the PREMET25 is to achieve compliance with European Union targets: recycling rates of 55% by 2025 and 60% by 2030.

The new metropolitan waste management philosophy is outlined in the Metropolitan Zero Waste Agreement, which has been signed by the AMB and 36 metropolitan municipalities.

Selective collection in the metropolis of Barcelona

The Catalan Waste Agency (Agència de Residus de Catalunya) recently published general data on selective collection in Catalonia for 2019. The average selective collection rate for Catalonia was 44.8%, while the average for the metropolitan area, despite being an all-time high, was somewhat lower at 37.4%.

Looking beyond the overall figures, the results for selective collection varied greatly in the different municipalities of the AMB, ranging from a minimum rate of 23% to a maximum of 85% (in municipalities with door-to-door collection systems). Eight metropolitan municipalities have selective collection rates of over 50% (thus complying with EU 2020 targets), 15 municipalities have higher-than-average rates, while 13 municipalities have below average rates.

According to Eloi Badia, vice-president of Ecology at the AMB, “much work remains to be done to achieve the targets set by the EU, but more and more metropolitan municipalities are making decisive progress in the introduction of improvements. The major leap forward in selective collection in Catalonia must and will come from the metropolitan municipalities but concerted, coordinated action with the highest level of support is being taken to accompany the municipalities in this transition.“

Published in: FuturENVIRO Nº 74 October-November 2020