National and regional story (Luxembourg) - 2 - The ‘SuperDrecksKëscht’ Action
Sharing of a 'best practice' in the field of households and businesses waste prevention, reduction and recovery.
SDK is a programme for managing problematic waste from households and for implementing waste management in the business sector. It is sponsored by the Environment Administration in cooperation with the municipalities – household component – and Luxembourg Chamber of Crafts (Chambre des Métiers) – business component. The programme is based on the principles of prevention, reduction and recovery of waste and promotes a new commercial model based on the ‘consumption-reconsumption’ philosophy:
- all recyclable materials are processed to recover a maximum of secondary materials, and all problematic substances are treated to minimise their impact on the environment; and
- substance flows, from generation to transformation into new raw materials or until their disposal in an environmentally friendly manner can be clearly presented so that they can be audited at any time.
The SDK programme is ISO 14001 certified and has had a legal basis since 2005.
The household component (‘SuperDrecksKëscht® fir Biirger’) has been dealing with household waste since 1985 [Figure 1]. It includes:
- collection by mobile containers, collection at fixed recycling centres, and home pickup on request;
- actions targeting particular flows of waste, organised in cooperation with private partners (e.g. for batteries, medications and syringes);
- numerous information and awareness campaigns in schools and elsewhere;
- promotion of products that generate less waste: those products are identified by a ‘Clever akafen’ (buy smarter) label on the shelves and displays in shops and supermarkets [note 1].
Figure 1 - SDK fir Biirger: quantities collected 1985-2009
Source: Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure - Environment Agency. Published in STATEC, Statistical Yearbook, Table A.3310.
The business component (‘SuperDrecksKëscht® fir Betriber’), in place since 1992, deals with non-household waste generated by businesses and by public and private establishments. Participation is voluntary and is done by contract [Figure 2]. It includes:
- assistance and advice for certifying ecological management of waste, with i) a status report on waste management in the firm and help in preparing the waste balance sheets; ii) assistance in preparing the firm’s Waste Prevention and Management Plan (PPGD – see waste common environmental theme); iii) assistance in implementing the PPGD (separate collection, storage, treatment, searching for licensed enterprises, prevention of waste generation through use of durable materials or introduction of environmentally friendly production methods); and iv) information, training and awareness activities for employees;
- collection of small quantities of waste on request;
- collection of particular waste flows in cooperation with public and private sector partners.
A quality label is awarded to those companies that manage their waste in an environmentally responsible manner consistent with the SDK concept. Since 2009, this quality label has been certified according to ISO 14024. Compliance with management criteria is audited once a year. Firms that have had the label for five consecutive years are audited only every two years. The list of certified firms is published on the internet. Today, businesses advised by the SDK employ more than half of Luxembourg’s workforce and recycle 70 % of all the waste they produce.
Figure 2 - SDK fir Betriber: number of participating companies 1992-2009
Source: Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure - Environment Agency.
The cost of the ‘SuperDrecksKëscht® fir Biirger’ is fully covered by the government through the Environment Protection Fund. The cost of the ‘SuperDrecksKëscht® fir Betriber’ is shared: assistance, advisory and training services are financed by the government, while waste collection and treatment is covered by the firms.
Since 2007, the SDK concept has been exported in the form of franchise contracts that are available to public authorities and to public and private establishments in other countries seeking to institute a waste management system along the lines of the Luxembourg model. For instance, the ‘SuperDrecksKëscht® fir Betriber’ concept has been implemented in the Basle region in Switzerland and the ‘SuperDrecksKëscht® fir Biirger’ concept in the city of Stockholm in Sweden. Ongoing projects to put into service a SDK scheme exist for Hungary and for Ras-Al-Kaihma (the latter mainly for packaging waste and batteries). Other countries have recently been seeking information on the SDK: Cyprus, Greece, Lithuania and Ukraine.
In 2010, the SDK programme has been awarded ‘best practice’ by the European Commission. A particularly important element of the success of the SDK is the continuous communication with all actors of the economy using modern communication means:
- brand image of the SuperDrecksKëscht® people can identify with;
- continuous information, advice and communication with the public;
- practical advices to companies, schools, administrations, and so on;
- ISO 14024 certified quality label for companies;
- the ‘Clever akafen’ label;
- the promotion and the development of sustainable technologies for separate collections and efficient recycling of waste.
All commercial chains and many other businesses participate in this action that has been awarded ‘best practice’ by the European Commission in June 2009.
Other interesting links
2009 Activity Report of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure – p. 235-248: click here (in French).