Catalonia’s new waste plan to create up to 7,000 new jobs with €800 million in investments
The Catalan Government has presented the new waste plan for 2013-2020 for discussion between city councils, companies and citizens to finalise its contents, according to Santi Vila, the Catalan Minister for Planning and Sustainability. Vila said the plan foresaw the investment of €782 million, 28% of which would be provided by the private sector. The Government has set “very ambitious” targets such as reducing by an extra 15% the current volume of waste, thereby continuing the efforts of the past ten years in terms of waste reduction, added Vila. They also intend to reach 60% of selective municipal waste collection whereas in 2012 this data was set at 39%. The waste plan will create 4,000 to 7,000 new jobs, in both direct and indirect ways.
Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan Government has presented the new waste plan for 2013-2020 for discussion between city councils, companies and citizens to finalise its contents, according to Santi Vila, the Catalan Minister for Planning and Sustainability. Santi Vila said the plan foresaw the investment of €782 million, 28% of which would be provided by the private sector. The Government has set “very ambitious” targets such as reducing by an extra 15% the current volume of waste, thereby continuing the efforts of the past ten years in terms of waste reduction, added Vila. They also intend to encourage recycling to reach 60% of selective municipal waste collection whereas in 2012 this data was set at 39%. The set of objectives defined by the waste plan will also instantly benefit to the environment. Indeed, Vila expects a 30% reduction of CO2 emissions. Finally, the waste plan will create 4,000 to 7,000 new jobs, in both direct and indirect ways.
Catalonia has broken away from “this perverse equation linking economic growth with waste production” said Santi Vila during the presentation at the Ministry's headquarters of the new waste plan for 2013-2020: Precat20.
This new plan is influenced by the period of economic crisis and recession that has led to a substantial reduction in the volume of waste. For cities, it decreased by 13.36 %, for the industries by 32.93 %, and for the construction sector by 76.17 %.
Focusing on recycling to avoid “throwing away anything that has material value”
The Catalan Government are intent on reducing the volume of waste by 15% in the next seven years, a percentage that must be added to the efforts already made in this regard these past ten years. However, with Precat20, professionals of the sector and the citizens themselves will first and foremost have to learn to achieve maximum efficiency in the field of recycling. As one cannot go against the steady increase in waste volumes and waste production, the recycling process will be the first target, and all citizens will have to work towards better efficiency, advocated Santi Vila.
The Catalan Minister pointed out that this new plan was based on principles from the European Union, for instance “do not throw away anything that has material value”. Vila also intends to follow to the word the European directives which “prohibit” anything that has any value from ending up in the landfill.
Precat20, which will evaluate targets each year, has outlined a different set of objectives that the Minister has described as “very ambitious”. One of the main priorities is to move from the current 39 % of selective municipal waste collection to 60% by 2020. The Director of the Catalan Waste Agency, Josep Maria Tost, said that by 2015 all the municipalities in Catalonia would have implemented such a waste collection system. Another objective is to increase recycling of waste from the construction sector from 43% to 75 %, and to ensure that by 2018, Catalonia will control landfills or incinerators as to not throw any waste that could be recycled and be of any value.
The new plan should create between 4,000 and 7,000 new jobs
The plan has a budget of €782 million between 2013 and 2020. Out of this amount, 70% will be provided by the Catalan Waste Agency (Agència de Residus de Catalunya) and 2% from other public bodies. The remaining 28% will come from contributions from the private sector under the frame of public-private collaboration. Most of the €782 million budget will be allocated to build new infrastructures, although construction is not expected to start before 2016. The waste plan will create between 4,000 and 7,000 new jobs, in both direct and indirect ways.
The new plan also wishes to foster dialogue with all the stakeholders to make them understanding the over-ambition of the previous plan, which had to be reviewed to reduce the objectives. In this respect the territorial plan of waste management infrastructure has been reduced substantially with fewer geographical zones of control.
Both Vila Santi and Josep Maria Tost explained that from now on they had opened a period of dialogue to try to explain the down-scaling of previous projects. In this line, for example, the new Waste Treatment Centre in Montoliu de Lleida (western Catalonia) will be built but it will dispose of a budget of €15 million instead of €28 million. In addition, the new Centre for Waste Treatment in Pedret i Marzà (northern Catalonia) will also be constructed but it will be allocated €25 million instead of the €36.7 million initially planned.
The Grecat plant in Constantí
Regarding the Grecat plant in Constantí (Southern Catalonia), which has answered a tender to destroy the chemical waste coming from Syrian weapons, the Minister asked to face this debate without “frivolity”. He noted that this plant, in case it eventually won the international contest, would not need a special permit from the Catalan Government as they are dangerous chemicals that are usually used for its industry or commercial activities.