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European Week for Waste Reduction: Covenant local authorities lead by example
A series of waste-reduction initiatives and awareness-raising activities were carried out between 19-27 November as part of the [European Week for Waste Reduction->]. This sector is one in which local authorities have a crucial role to play and several levers of action, notably in the planning and daily management of waste.

Waste management is mentioned in the Covenant of Mayors SEAP guidelines, which formulates recommendations on how to develop a Sustainable Energy Action Plan. Waste treatment facilities can be included in the Baseline Emission Inventory and actions related to waste are encouraged to be included in the plan.

Indeed, local authorities can exploit the energy potential of waste through several means:

  • collect domestic oil and use it as biofuels for municipal vehicles and public transport;
  • recover energy and/or heat from waste incineration plants;
  • use methane from landfill to produce biogas;
  • improve waste collection mechanisms;
  • influence citizens’ behaviours to reduce waste production;
  • provide a model to consumers and influence the development of new markets for green products through public procurement.

Numerous Covenant cities and municipalities already place considerable emphasis on waste management in their action plans. This is notably the case of the SEAP of Vitoria-Gasteiz, as evidenced by the measures included in page 8 and 11 of the plan.

A growing number of signatories also leverage the website Benchmark of Excellence section to showcase leading actions in this field. Östersund, Sweden, produces biogas from the sludge of sewage treatment plants to power municipal and private vehicles. The city of Besançon, France, has launched awareness raising activities to encourage families to adopt sustainable behaviours, in particular regarding waste production and reduction: The municipality of Sabadell, Spain, initiated a “Sustainability and Climate Change Participatory Table”, involving relevant local stakeholders, among whom waste companies, to prepare the climate and energy strategy of the municipality.

To view more examples of pioneering actions taken by Covenant of Mayors Signatories, visit the Benchmark of Excellence section, read the monthly interviews from the Covenant newsletters or consult the catalogue of Sustainable Energy Action Plans.

    >> Covenant Monthly Newsletter November 2011 <<
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  The sole responsibility for the content of this newsletter lies with the Covenant of Mayors Office. It does not necessary reflect the opinion of the European Union. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein. The Covenant of Mayors was set up with financial support of the European Commission and consists of five associations of European local authorities: Energy Cities, Climate Alliance, Eurocities, CEMR, and Fedarene.

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