Build a zero waste culture
in Brussels. On June 22, 2016, the European Zero Waste Organization held the closing ceremony of the "Towns and Towns, People and People—Building a European Zero Waste Culture" project in Brussels. The project aims to unite European municipalities and environmental organizations to build a new zero-waste culture.
After the Budapest, Ljubljana and Capannori conferences in April and May, the last conference was held in Brussels on June 22. In addition to identifying good practices at the local level and helping to spread them throughout Europe, the last meeting also aimed to bring the conclusions of the project to European policymakers.
The purpose of the conference was to present the latest case studies of the European Zero Waste on the city of Parma. Gabriele Folli, the environmental commissioner of the City of Palma, introduced their transition to zero waste and explained how they managed to increase the recycling rate from 45% to 73% in just 4 years and significantly reduced the residual waste by 59%. This city is a vivid example of the ambitious goals of circular economy that are not only feasible, but also bring environmental, social and economic benefits.
In addition to Palma's presentation, the closing meeting of the project also invited Annemie Andries, senior policy adviser of the Flanders Waste Management Agency OVAM, to attend, and she introduced the new target for residual waste that Flanders is envisioning. These are accompanied by recycling targets and other measures aimed at promoting the reduction of non-reusable and non-recyclable waste.
After her, Roubaix Deputy Mayor Alexandre Garcin introduced the transition to zero waste in this northern French city. As far as they are concerned, the city does not have the right to implement separate collection, but directly cooperates with households, companies, schools and civil society to minimize waste generation and ensure that the generated waste is collected separately. Roubaix showed that political will can overcome legal restrictions.
Finally, Caroline van der Steen, Director of Stadsecoolog in Bruges, introduced their food smart city project and their work to prevent food waste and find alternative and innovative ways to make the most of surplus food.
The project and conference enable cities and civil society to exchange good practices on waste prevention, separate collection and specific measures in other sectors. In addition, it has also promoted exchanges and relations between cities in the European Union, and it has truly made it possible to establish a zero-waste culture. Because of their efforts to achieve zero-waste, the two cities even paired up.