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Greece

Waste (Greece)

Why should we care about this issue

Topic
Waste Waste
Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 23 Nov 2010

Waste management is one of the most difficult and complex environmental, political, legal and social issues in Greece. Due to the rapid growth of large urban areas, tourist flow, rise of living standards and change of consuming patterns, there is a serious rise of municipal waste and simultaneous change of its composition (rise of hazardous and toxic waste, more complex packaging waste). Simultaneously, there is a growing concern on finding places for their management. Furthermore, until recently, big quantities of useful materials (i.e. paper, glass, aluminium, plastic, metal and wood) were lost, although their reuse or recycling could save natural resources and energy. In recent years, significant progress has been accomplished in solid waste management, although effort is still required to meet EU targets.

The state and impacts

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 23 Nov 2010


Table 1

2004

2006

Generation

of total waste (kt)

34 953

51 325

Solid waste

Between 2004 and 2006, total waste generation in Greece increased by 46.8 % (Figure 1; W01). Mineral and solidified wastes represented 72.8 % of total waste in 2006 (Figure 2; W01).

Table 2

1990

2007

 

Generation

of municipal waste (kt)

3 075

5 002

Between 1990 and 2007, municipal waste generation increased by 62.6 % (GR – EEA CSI 16). The main contributors in 2007 were putrescibles (39.7 %), paper (22 %) and plastic (10.5 %) (Figure 3; GR – EEA CSI 16).

In terms of waste management, almost 4690 Unmanaged Solid Waste Deposition Sites (USWDS) were registered in 6000 local authorities in 1987. However in 2007, 75 % of USWDS were closed, whereas 50 % were in the process of rehabilation (NCESD, 2009).

Packaging Waste

Table 3

1997

2007

 

Generation

of packaging waste (kt)

710.8

1 050

Between 1997 and 2007, packaging waste generation increased by 47.7 % (GR – EEA CSI 017). Glass, metals, paper and fibre board, and plastics accounted in 2007 for the majority of packaging waste generated (94 %; Figure 4). The EU target to recycle 25 % of packaging waste in 2001 has been met and exceeded (33 %). In 2007, the average recycling rate over Greece reached 48 % (Figure 5), with Paper and Fibre Board having the biggest shares (63.1 % in 2007) followed by glass, metals, plastic and wood (Figure 6).

Table 4

Portable batteries and accumulators (t)

2007

2008

Used

2100

1908

Collected

442

496

Industrial and automotive batteries

and accumulators (t)

 

 

Used

41 000

41 000

Collected lead and acid batteries

32 000

32 500

 

Batteries

Used portable batteries and accumulators slightly decreased (9 %) between 2007 and 2008, while the amount of collected batteries increased by 12 % (GR W02).

 

Table 5

 WEEE (t)

2007

2008

Generation

170 000–175 000

190 000–200 000

Recycled

31.4

47.1


WEEE

Between 2007 and 2008, recycling of WEEE increased by 50 %. In 2007, the WEEE collected for recycling represented 71.4 % of the total annual amount of 44 000, which is the national target under the EU directive. In 2008, the EU collection target was surpassed (44 300 tonnes)

(GR W02; MINENV, 2010).

 

Table 6

C&D waste (t)

2002

2006

 Generation

4 500 000

6 827 766

Construction and Demolition waste

Estimates show a 50 % increase in the generation of C&D waste between 2002 and 2006 (GR W02).

 

ELV

Table 7

ELV (no cars)

2007

 Collected

66 000

Recycled

49 000

The recycling rate is around 84 % and exceeds the EU target (80 %)

(GR W02).

 


Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste slightly decrease since 2004 (by 0.5 %), whereas recycling of hazardous waste increased by 6.3 % and incineration by 80 % (GR W02).

Table 8

Hazardous waste (t)

2004

2005

2006

 

Total

335000.0

333155.0

333155.0

Recycling

111820.0

109270.0

118870.0

Incinaration

1546.5

2231.0

2793.4

Energy recovery

5005.6

7255.6

7346.0

Landfill

13997.0

7313.8

14763.3

Other

202630.9

207084.4

189382.2

 



The key drivers and pressures

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 23 Nov 2010

Social Drivers

Between 1991 and 2001, the Greek population increased with an average annual population growth rate of 0.66 % and is estimated to reduce from 0.326 % in 2005 to 0.065 % in 2020 (NSSG, 2009). The number of individuals per household is estimated to decrease annually from 0.43 % in 2000-2005 to 0.37 % in 2010-2015, reflecting ageing of population and new living arrangements (MINENV, 2009).

Economic Drivers

The majority of waste streams derive from Industry, Construction and Agriculture (Figure 4). The industrial sector represents 64.6 % of total waste generation in 2006 (Figure 7; GR W01). Due to variations in tourism demands over time (mainly summer) and space (many islands and coastal areas), population can increase locally two to ten times, affecting municipal waste generation.

Municipal waste generation per capita (Figure 8) has an annual increase rate of 1.1 % since 2003, whereas GDP increased over the period 2003-2007, with an annual rate of 4.3 % (Figure 9; GR – EEA CSI 016). Therefore, the generation of waste has shown a relative decoupling from the country’s economic growth.

Packaging waste generation in Greece presents a significant decoupling from GDP (Figure 10) growing by 12.4 % between 2000 and 2007. At the same time, real GDP increased by 33.6 % and recycling of packaging waste increased by 62 % (Figure 11; GR – EEA CSI 017).

Over the decade 1997-2007, per capita packaging waste generation increased by 9.6 % (from 65.3 kg per person to 92.7 kg per person), while per capita recycling showed an overall increase of 58 % (Figure 12; GR – EEA CSI 017).

Pressures

In 2007, GHG Emissions from the Waste sector (2.4 % of the total emissions, without LULUCF), decreased by 28.4 % since 1990. Greenhouse gases emissions from solid waste disposal on land present an increasing trend (Figures 13a/b,14; GR – EEA CSI 010).

Solid waste disposal on land is the major source of GHG emissions from waste. GHG emission projections (for all source categories) are presented in Table 9. Methane emissions from solid waste disposal on land show an increase of 16 % in 2010 (2.09 Mt CO2eq) compared to 1990 levels (1.81 Mt CO2eq) and a decrease of 15 % in 2020 (1.53 Mt CO2eq) compared to 1990 levels. The decreasing trend after 2010, is mainly due to the implementation of EU Directive 99/31 regarding the recovery of organic waste (MINENV, 2009). 

 

Table 9

(MINENV, 2009)

 

2010

2015

2020

GHG emissions from waste, per source category (kt CO2eq)

Solid waste disposal on land

2 089

1 828

1 532

Domestic wastewater

621

619

612

Industrial wastewater

107

104

101

Human sewage

4 444

6 993

9 541

 

GHG emissions from waste, per source gas (kt CO2eq)

Carbon dioxide

4 444

6 993

9 541

Methane

2 435

2 163

1 854

Nitrous oxide

381

388

392

 

Total

 

2821

 

2557

 

2255

 

 

 

The 2020 outlook

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 23 Nov 2010

The quantities of waste disposed in managed and unmanaged sites, the composition of waste in landfills and the quantities of waste recovered for the period 2010-2020 are presented in Table 10 (MINENV, 2009).

To estimate the composition of MSW generated during the period 1990-2020, it is assumed that the shares of putrescibles, metals and glass decrease annually by 0.3 %, 0.1 % and 0.02 % respectively, whereas the share of paper and plastics increases annually by 0.2 % and the shares of wood and textiles remain constant: 1 % and 3.25 %, respectively (MINENV, 2009).

National targets for waste management are presented in Table 11, whereas estimates for the achievement of the targets are discussed in GR W02 and GR – EEA CSI 017.  

Table 10

 (MINENV, 2009)

 

2010

2015

2020

Generation rate (kg/cap/day)

1 266

1 364

1 469

Waste land filled in managed sites (kt)

3 505

2 918

2 901

Waste land filled in unmanaged sites (kt)

0

0

0

Fraction of organic waste land filled (%)

52.7

37.4

30.7

Recycling (%)

33.0

48.3

52.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Existing and planned responses

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 08 Apr 2011

Fundamental objectives are the elimination of unmanaged solid waste disposal sites, the coverage of all urban and rural areas with modern installations for final disposal, the promotion of measures for prevention and reduction of produced waste, as well as the exploitation of materials with maximisation of recycling and recovery of products and energy (MINENV, 2010). Table 11 presents regulations and laws adopted in Greece for waste management.    

At a national level, reduction of the biodegradable fraction of the municipal wastes that are disposed to landfills is mainly achieved by the adoption of the following programmes:

  • Recycling of packaging wastes via the programmes of separation at source, which is facilitated by a network of mechanical separation and recycling units for packaging wastes developed the last years and
  • Recovering of domestic waste at the two (2) units of mechanical recycling and composting.

 

 

Table 11

 National legislation on waste and recycling

 

National regulation

 

Exists

or not

Reference

Targets

1. Landfill

Y

MD 29407/3508 16.12.2002 (G.O.G. 1572B/2002)

(Harmonisation with Directive 99/31/EC)

The targets set for the reduction of biodegradable wastes landfilled are at 75 %, 50 % and 35 % for the years 2010, 2013 and 2020, respectively, compared to their production in 1995.

2. Incineration

Y

JMD 22912/1117 (G.O.G. 759B/06-06-05)

(Harmonisation with Directive 2000/76/EC)

 

 

3. Packaging

Y

L. 2939/2001 (G.O.G. A 179/6.8.2001)

 

- Until 31 December 2011, between 55 % and 80 % by weight of packaging to be recycled;

- Until 31 December 2011, 60 % as a minimum

by weight of packaging waste shall be recovered or

incinerated at waste incineration plants with energy

recovery;

- Until 31 December 2001, the following targets for materials contained in packaging waste must be attained:

1)     60 % by weight for glass;

2)     60 % by weight for paper and board;

3)     50 % by weight for metals;

4)     22.5 % by weight for plastics;

5)     15 % by weight for wood.

JMD 9268/469/07 (G.O.G. 286 B/2.3.2007)

(Harmonisation with Directive 2004/12/EC)

4. E.L.V.

Y

M.D. 74362/5340/05/2007 (G.O.G. 544/B’/18.4.2007)

(Harmonisation with Directive 2005/64/EC)

 

- Ensure that a minimum of 85 % of vehicles are reused or recovered, and at least 80 % must be reused or recycled from 2006;

 

- Increasing to 95 % reused or recovered and 85 % reused or recycled by 2015.

PD 116/2004 (G.O.G. 57B/2004)

(Harmonisation with Directive 2000/53/EC)

PD 109/2004 (G.O.G. 75 A) (tyres)

- Until 31 July 2006 65 % re-use rate and 10 % recycle rate of collected tyres

 

 

5. W.E.E.E.

Y

P.D. 117/2004 (G.O.G. A 82/5.3.2004)

(Harmonisation with Directives 2002/95/EC & 2002/96/EC)

 

(Draft Directive)

Annual collection target: 65 % of the average weight of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE), placed on the market of the Member State in the three preceding years. 2016 is the first year of application

 

RECOVERY TARGETS :

By 31 December 2011:

a) for cooling equipment and large equipment: 85 % recovery and 80 % preparation for reuse and recycling;

b) for screens and monitors: 80 % recovery and 70 % preparation for reuse and recycling;

c) for lighting equipment and small equipment: 75 % recovery and 55 % preparation for reuse and recycling;

d) For gas discharge lamps, 85 % shall be prepared for re-use and recycled.

P.D. 15/2006 (G.O.G. A 12/3.6.2006)

(Harmonisation with Directive 2003/108 /EC)

6. Batteries

Y

Draft PD

(Harmonisation with Directive 2006/66 /EC)

- 25% collection rate for waste portable batteries to be met by September 2012, rising to 45% by September 2016;

 

- The setting of recycling efficiencies to ensure that not later than 26 September 2011a proportion of weight batteries is recycled:

65 % of lead acid batteries

75 % of nickel-cadmium batteries

50 % of other waste batteries

7. Construction/demolition

Y

JMD 50910/2727 (G.O.G. 1909B/22-12-03)

(Harmonisation with Directive 91/156/EEC)

 

Re-use, recycling and other material recovery shall be increased to a minimum of:

  • 30 % by weight, by 2012
  • 50 % by weight by 2015
  • 70 % by weight by 2020

PD for quantitative targets under validation

8. Hazardous Waste

Y

JMD 8668/28.2.2007 (G.O.G. B’ 287/2.3.2007)

(Harmonisation with Directive 91/156/EC)

 

JMD 13588/725/2006 (G.O.G. B 383/28.3.06)

(Harmonisation with Directive 91/689/EEC)

 

Figure 1

 

Figure 1.          Generation of waste by waste category (2004; 2006)


 Figure 2

Figure 2.          Generation of waste by waste category (Shares, 2006)


Figure 3

Figure 3.            Estimated composition (%) of MW generated, 1990-2007 (MINENV, 2009)

 

Figure 4


Figure 4.          Generation of packaging waste by waste type, 1997-2007


Figure 5

Figure 5.          Recycling of packaging waste, 1997-2007


Figure 6

Figure 6.          Recycling of packaging waste by waste type, 1997-2007

 

Figure 7

Figure 7.          Generation of waste by economic activity (Shares, 2006)

 

Figure 8

Figure 8.          Municipal waste generation per capita in Greece, 1990-2007

 Figure 9

          Figure 9.          Municipal waste generation and GDP, 2000-2007 (Index 2000=100)
 

 

Figure 10

Figure 10.         Generation of packaging waste and GDP, 2000-2007

 

Figure 11


Figure 11.         Generation and recycling of packaging waste and GDP (index 2000=100)

Figure 12


Figure 12.         Per capita generation and recycling of packaging waste, 1997-2007

 

 

Figure 13a

Figure 13a.       Share of GHG emissions by sector, 1990

 

Figure 13b

Figure 13b.       Share of GHG emissions by sector, 2007

 

 

Figure 14

Figure 14.         Changes in Greek greenhouse gas emissions by sector, 1990-2007

 

 

References

  • MINENV, 2009. Climate Change: GHG Emissions projections – policies and mesures, May 2009.

http://cdr.eionet.europa.eu/gr/eu/ghgmm/envsg1jtq/20090515_Resubmission_of_GHG_Projections_and_PAMS_May_2009.pdf

 

  • MINENV, 2010. Fifth National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, January 2010.

http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/natc/grc_nc5.pdf

 

  • NCESD, 2009 - National Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development. Greece: State of the Environment Report 2008, edited by Sani Dimitroulopoulou (in Greek, with English Summary). ISBN 978-960-99033-0-1.

http://www.ekpaa.greekregistry.eu/images/stories/EKTHESI_2008.pdf

 

  • NSSG, 2009 – National Statistical Service of Greece.

http://www.statistics.gr

 

 

 

Disclaimer

The country assessments are the sole responsibility of the EEA member and cooperating countries supported by the EEA through guidance, translation and editing.

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