Why should we care about this issue
Cyprus is a country with very high consumption rates and as a result of it has one of the most fast rising production rates of waste. The environmental, health and socioeconomic impacts of the uncontrolled disposal of waste is also huge especially considering the fact that Cyprus is a very small island.
It is considered very important to reduce the production rates of waste and treat alternatively waste (reuse, recycling, energy recovery) with final target the minimization of waste ending to landfills.
The state and impacts
In the 11 years from 1996 to 2007 total solid municipal waste arisings increased from 421.340 tons to 586.750 tons (+ 39.2 %). The rate of growth is very high but because of the higher increase of separate collection, residuals growth rate is significantly lower (31.7%). Recent data show that residual growth rate is reduce much more due to an extra increase of separate collection (mainly packaging and WEEE) plus an important fragment going for energy recovery.
The main problem we still have to face is to reduce the production rate of waste. In 2007 is has been calculated that in Cyprus produce 747 kg/cap/y are produced, one of the highest production rates in the world. For the same period there are is no information about the composition of waste.
The fact that Cyprus is a very small country and an island does not make treatment financially feasible for several hazardous waste streams. Although, there are facilities for the integrated treatment of used oils, clinical waste, part of pharmaceutical and laboratory waste and partly treatment of WEEE, ELVs, Car Batteries. Most of the hazardous collected are sent to OECD countries for treatment.
There has been progress in the field of hazardous waste management as privately owned companies are planning to invest in hazardous waste management produced in Cyprus.
The key drivers and pressures
The main drivers for waste generation are socioeconomic drivers. The growth rate of solid municipal waste arising in the period 1996 to 2007 is compared more to real GDP growth (51.7%) and less to the population growth (18.5%). Solid municipal waste generation increases much faster than the population. Again is proved that the main problem (pressure) to face is to reduce the generation rate (prevention) which is mainly related to the way of life and not to the population growth.
Other significant pressures at national level, is the fact that the responsibility for different waste streams lies within two different Ministries and also the difficulties and the time consuming efforts to enforce producer responsibility for various waste streams.
The 2020 outlook
Main concerns focus on the evaluation of quantities produced now and in the future until the year 2020 and also to identify main problems in their management and to set up minimum treatment requirements focus on the following waste streams
- Used Oils
- Agriculture Waste
- Customs Waste
- Waste to Energy
For other waste streams such Packaging, WEEE and Batteries integrated management plans are already set up and Cyprus is optimistic on meeting all the required targets of separate collection for 2016 (Batteries - 45%) according to Batteries Directive (2006/66/EC) and for 2020 (Packaging – 50%) according to the new Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC).
Existing and planned responses
From 2002 we have in place the Solid and Hazardous Waste Law (N.215(I)/2002) that is the main Law for waste management, under which a series of Regulations have been published in order to harmonize in National Level with European Legislation.
A new Solid and Hazardous Waste Law is being prepared in order to be harmonized with the new Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC) and is expected to be in place until December 2010.
The ministry in order to achieve it targets also proceeds with more intensified campaigns, and inspections and stricter implementation of relative legislation.