Resources in the form of paper and cardboard

Zamudio collected last year 146 tonnes of this kind of waste. If well classified, it brings environmental benefits and, due to its market value, it means important savings as well in the cost of waste collection and transport.

It was one of the first types of waste to be selectively collected and it is also one that has driven the most engagement, but there is still work to be done to improve selective collection of paper and cardboard. On the one hand, it is highly important to reduce the number of unwanted elements appearing in the specific collection bins (grey with a blue lid), which include cellulose from napkins, dirt from pizza packages, and briks. On the other hand, it is also very important to stop disposing of certain elements outside the arranged bins. Apart from the fact that this habit shows the city in a bad light, elements cannot be recycled once they are damp.

If correctly done, waste sorting brings important benefits both from an environment and from an economic point of view, resulting from the market value of paper and cardboard when delivered to agents specialized in their recovery. This money is given back to the municipality and ultimately allows a reduction in waste taxes. It is thusly important to embrace the circular economy perspective and to envision waste as a source of resources. This is precisely the line of work that Zamudio is carrying out through its participation in the Waste4Think European project.

In the case of paper and cardboard, the municipality has a set of 27 specific collection bins, with a capacity of 3,200 litres each, installed around its urban area. Besides, there are more bins that give service to companies based in Zamudio, so long as their waste production rate is similar to that in a household.

It is through the use of these collection bins that 146,296 kilograms of paper and cardboard were collected in the municipality last year, far from the 96,783 kilograms of glass (the second most sorted waste type). Up to September, 140,621 kilograms have been registered this year. This means that an amount of waste equivalent to the volume of 200.88 cars has been prevented from reaching dumping sites and that CO2 emission near to that of 1,000 cars travelling for 800 kilometres has been avoided.

Zamudio manages through the Service Community of Municipalities of Txorierri the collection and transport of paper and cardboard waste, which are taken to Beotibar Recycling in Zornotza for their recycling. Current laws establish that this type of residues must be delivered to a specialised agent (or a paper factory with recycling facilities) in order to ensure a suitable treatment.

This way, the specialised agent pays to the Community of Municipalities the market value of paper and cardboard suitable for recycling. Besides, if the process is well performed, Ecoembes defrays the remaining cost of selective collection.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement 688995.
The dissemination of results herein reflects only the author’s view and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.