waste management

Nuclear cemetery designation mired with controversy, but radioactive waste management unavoidable

July 29, 2015 01:45 PM | Kyle Brown

There has been discussion among the Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) to approve construction of Spain's Temporary Centralised Storage Facility, more commonly referred to as the ATC (Almacén Temporal Centralizado), and a decision is expected in the coming days. The Spanish Government designated Villar de Cañas in Castilla-La Mancha's Cuenca Province as the location for the ATC at the end of 2011 to temporarily store 6,700 tU of radioactive waste accumulated in the country, including high-activity radioactive materials that could not previously be stored in any facility within Spain's borders. At present, nuclear reactors – including three active in Catalonia – must manage high-level waste on-site, either in light water pools or in dry storage casks until it can be shipped to a completed ATC. While Catalonia's nuclear power plants are licensed far into the 2020s, environmental concerns over the safety of radioactive waste hang over nuclear energy's future.

Catalan homes recycled 80% of cardboard, paper and plastic packaging in 2013

December 12, 2014 08:51 PM | ACN

In 2013, 80.7% of cardboard, paper and plastic packaging used in Catalan households was recycled. This rate is 2 percentage points lower than that registered in 2012 due to people stealing waste from recycling containers, according to representatives from the industry. Catalonia's overall recycling rate is 38% but the Catalan Government aims to make this 60% by 2020. The level of paper and plastic recycling by Catalan homes is almost 9 percentage points higher than the Spanish average (71.9%), and quite close to the leading countries in Europe such as Belgium, Germany and the Czech Republic, whose households recycle around 85% of these products. Representatives from waste and recycling organizations spoke positively of the efforts made, but stressed the need to reach all the population and economic sectors.

Supermarkets and charities work together against food waste in Catalonia

November 29, 2014 01:50 PM | Nell English

Catalan supermarkets and charities are working together to fight against the 1.18 million tonnes of food wasted each year in Catalonia. With 1.3 billion tonnes of food wasted each year worldwide, the issue of excess food is becoming increasingly important. Of the global figures, 89 million tonnes come from the EU, while 8 million come from Spain, making it the 7th highest in Europe. Of Catalonia’s share, the equivalent of 34.9 kg is wasted per person on an annual basis. One approach in reducing this figure is being undertaken by supermarkets, which are responsible for 16% of total excess food in Catalonia, equivalent to 41,600 tonnes of food a year. Approaches vary from locking bins to reducing prices, and relabeling food products. Moreover, Catalan charity Banc dels Aliments has been active in the campaign against wasting food, running a six-year long annual event of redistributing donated food. 

Catalonia’s new waste plan to create up to 7,000 new jobs with €800 million in investments

February 7, 2014 08:11 PM | 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. 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.

Catalonia recycled 78% of plastic and cardboard in 2011

September 5, 2012 11:27 PM | CNA / Esther Romagosa / David Tuxworth

Citizens in Catalonia recycled 78% of waste plastic and cardboard in 2011. A report by Ecoembes shows that in 2011 221,500 tonnes of waste packaging was recycled, although 28% of waste plastic and cardboard was not suitable for recycling. The stealing of waste from street containers represented a problem. The city of Barcelona lost €2 million due to the increase in thefts of cardboard and plastic prompted by the crisis.