The agreement, entered into by the Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona (AMB), the Catalan Waste Agency (ARC) and the 36 metropolitan municipalities, has been ratified by the Metropolitan Council. It establishes the individualisation of commercial and domestic collection throughout the AMB by 2025, with the implementation of a “pay-as-you-throw” system. It also contains plans to phase out the current metropolitan infrastructure model, based on the Ecoparks, incineration and landfills.

On February 26 last, the Metropolitan Agreement for Zero Waste was signed. This large, metropolitan-scale pact entered into by the Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona (AMB), the Government of Catalonia, through the Catalan Waste Agency (ARC), and the 36 metropolitan municipalities, has given rise to a joint strategy for municipal waste management to be implemented by 2025. The Metropolitan Agreement for Zero Waste forms part of the Metropolitan Programme for Waste Prevention, and Municipal Waste and Resource Management 2017-2025 (PREMET25), the new strategic waste management plan drawn up by the AMB.

The drafting of this plan was one of the AMB’s priorities for the 2015-2019 term of office, with a view to ending stagnation of the metropolitan selective collection rate, which stands at around 35%. This rate reached a peak of 37.2% in 2010 and has been falling gradually since. The current rate is 35.5% , following an upturn in 2018.

The PREMET25 has the ultimate objective of achieving compliance with European Union targets: recycling rates of 55% and 60% by 2025 and 2030, respectively. During the presentation of the Agreement, vice-president of Environment at the AMB, Eloi Badia, emphasised that “the current model, based on containers open 24 hours per day, has reached its limit. At the AMB, our aim is to lead a true pact of society involving all public authorities, industry, commerce and citizens, and we seek to do so from a municipal perspective”.

New waste management model

The new programme sets out that by 2025, the entire population, retail outlets and businesses in the AMB will have to implement a system of individualisation of waste collection, which will enable the identification of users, and the type and quantity of waste produced at individual level. The systems chosen for implementation in the metropolitan municipalities are door-to-door collection, smart containers and specific commercial waste collection.