The answer: Zero Waste
On 31st March, the conference “The answer: Zero Waste” took place in Madrid. It was organized by Zero Waste Europe and the platform Aire Limpio Residuo Cero Madrid (Clean air zero waste Madrid) and Ecocuadrado was present.
Different cities shared their achievements, difficulties and challenges in the field of waste management, all with the same goal: reaching “zero waste” in the cities.
The conference started with the participation of the Madrid City Hall, asserting that 55% of the wastes of Madrid end their life in landfills, according to the environment manager’s data.
Following to this, the Zero WasteEurope platform and Clean Air Madrid were introduced and they showed that Zero Waste in waste management is reachable. The second one set some clues of how to contribute to ZeroWaste from a new citizen position, by responsible consumption, give-and-take, renting instead of purchasing, and stimulating the products repair in order to extend their lifespan.
In the next session, different successful experiences from European cities were showed:
- For example, Milano replaced the common black waste bags for transparent bags.
- Gizpúzcoa (Basque Country, Spain) already established door-by-door collection system in 2009, but it has been now, in 2017, when they have incorporated an electronic system in dumps to optimize and monitor the system.
- Catalonia is, with no doubt, one of the reference provinces in the field of waste management in Spain. From the Catalonian administration it has been encouraged and boosted the source sorting and they have incorporated a waste-tax and a Producer Pays Principle (PPP)
- It was announced that the City Halls of Boalo, Cerceda and Mataelpino (province of Madrid) are now members of the Zero WasteEurope platform.
They were sending all their waste to landfills, and now they have strong source sorting systems and they already have composting machines in public schools, which product is used locally to regenerate degraded areas, and to improve the habitat of an indigenous goat breed. They are with no doubt great examples of Circular Economy and Zero Waste.
- Pontevedra (Galicia, Spain) is another excellent example of sorting system, separating the organic fraction, which is distributed over a wide composting machines network.
In the last part of the morning, Composta en Red (Network Composting), who is managing the organic fraction, and introduced its compost “Wikipedia”, and MAPAMA (Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing, Food and Environment), who highlighted the importance of development of legislation as driving force in the waste management sector.
It was a great workshop in MediaLab-Prado, Madrid. First-hand hearing from such important entities was very interesting and constructive, given that these are the ones that allow us all to move one step closer to Zero Waste.