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Portugal

Waste (Portugal)

Why should we care about this issue

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

Inadequate treatment or improper disposal of industrial, agricultural, domestic or medical waste causes soil, air and water pollution, with its corresponding negative impacts on public health.

The urban waste management sector in Portugal has developed significantly over the past decade as a result of planning and implementing a coherent series of strategies flowing from our obligations under EU legislation, particularly by closing waste tips and building landfills and other waste recovery infrastructure.

The legal framework governing waste management has been consolidated over the last few years, with systems for managing certain specific flows, and placing the onus on producers to pursue targets for prevention, separate collection, recycling and other forms of recovery. EU legislation on waste incineration, co-incineration and landfilling has been transposed into national law.

The state and impacts

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 08 Apr 2011

 

Portugal has made great efforts to achieve the same results in waste management as other EU states. This has been achieved by increasing recycling and recovery of several types of waste, especially urban waste (UW) and packaging.

In addition to the priority attached to urban and industrial waste and to certain specific flows such as electrical and electronic waste (WEEE), end-of-life vehicles, used mineral oils, used tyres and batteries and accumulators, planning and strategy have also focused on waste produced by hospitals, agriculture and demolition and construction activities.

 

Urban waste (UW)

Nearly 5.059 billion tonnes of UW were produced in Portugal in 2008, more than the target of 4.993 billion tonnes set by Portugal’s Strategic Solid Urban Waste Plan 2007-2016 (PERSU II) for that year. UW production in mainland Portugal in 2008 was 4.787 billion tonnes, equivalent to nearly 1.3 kg per inhabitant per day, which is below the European average, but higher than the 2004 levels of 1.2 kg per inhabitant per day (Figure 1).

 

Figure 1 Daily production and collection of urban waste in mainland Portugal

Fig. 1 - Daily production and collection of urban waste in mainland Portugal

 

Source: APA, 2009

 

Around 65 % of all UW produced in mainland Portugal goes to landfill (Figure 2), 18 % is incinerated with energy recovery and 9 % recovered though separate collection. Only 8 % of all waste is sent for organic recovery.

 

Figure 2 Treatment and final destination of UW in mainland Portugal

Fig. 2 - Treatment and final destination of UW in mainland Portugal 

Source: APA, 2009

Nearly half – 2.606 billion tonnes – of the 4.787 billion tonnes of UW produced in mainland Portugal in 2008 was biodegradable urban waste (BUW). The vast majority, 67 %, was sent to sanitary landfills, 18 % used for energy recovery, 8 % used for organic recovery and 7 % of paper and cardboard waste (BUW) was recycled (Figure 3).

 

Figure 3 Destination of biodegradable urban waste in mainland Portugal, 2008

Fig. 3 - Destination of biodegradable urban waste in mainland Portugal, 2008

 

 

Source: APA, 2009

 

A total of 535 035 tonnes of packaging waste was recycled in 2008, with 328 184 tonnes coming from urban and 206 851 tonnes from non-urban flows. There has been a gradual rise in the amount of packaging waste generated and an increasing amount is recycled. The amount of packaging waste sent for energy recovery has fallen since 2003 (Figure 4).

 

Figure 4 Packaging waste produced compared to the amount recycled and sent for energy recovery

Fig. 4 - Packaging waste produced compared to the amount recycled and sent for energy recovery

 

 

Source: APA, 2009

 

In 2007, 82 % of all paper and cardboard packaging waste was recycled – the highest recycling rate of all – followed by wooden packaging waste, 71 %, and metal packaging waste, 63 %. Forty-six percent of glass packaging waste was recycled, unchanged since 2006. The recycling rate for plastic packaging waste in 2006 and 2007 was 15 % (Table 1). 

 

Table 1 Recycling and recovery rates of packaging waste

 

 

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Glass

Recycling rate (%)

42

44

41

34

35

38

39

41

46

46

Recovery rate (%)

42

44

41

34

35

38

39

41

46

46

Plastic

Recycling rate (%)

4

4

5

10

9

9

11

16

15

15

Recovery rate (%)

4

4

40

42

40

41

24

29

24

23

Paper / Cardboard

Recycling rate (%)

48

53

47

57

50

50

56

60

68

82

Recovery rate (%)

48

53

62

74

67

67

65

68

73

84

Metal

Recycling rate (%)

-

1

15

24

53

53

55

60

62

63

Recovery rate (%)

-

1

15

24

53

53

55

60

62

63

Wood

Recycling rate (%)

-

30

0

72

-

67

66

58

73

71

Recovery rate (%)

-

30

11

79

-

71

71

67

80

73

Source: APA, 2009

 

Non-urban waste (NUW)

Nearly 31 million tonnes of non-urban waste were produced in 2006, representing a year-on-year drop of nearly 2.5 %, with the extractive and construction industries experiencing the biggest reduction in absolute terms. Mining and quarrying activities, cement and ready-mixed concrete industries, building and aggregated commercial and services activities were the sectors that generated the most waste.

Between 2004 and 2006, the proportion of hazardous waste within total non-urban waste production increased by 9 % to reach 19 % of the total, with commercial and service activities contributing most to this growth.

 

Figure 5 Production of hazardous and non-hazardous non-urban waste, 2004-2006

Fig. 5 - Production of hazardous and non-hazardous non-urban waste, 2004-2006

 

 

Source: INR, 2007; APA, 2008

As regards the final destination of non-urban waste, recovery operations were the main form of waste management in 2004 and 2005. The amount of waste disposed of in 2006 exceeded the amount of waste recovered by nearly 2.5 million tonnes. 

Figure 6 Non-urban waste, by destination

Fig. 6 - Non-urban waste, by destination

 

 

Source: INR, 2007; APA, 2008

 

Transboundary movement of waste

At 40 113 tonnes, the amount of waste sent outside Portugal for recovery in 2008 was nearly 17 000 tonnes less than the previous year. In the same year 154 709 tonnes of waste were sent for disposal, nearly 37 000 tonnes more than in 2007. As in previous years, the amount of waste sent for disposal was somewhat higher than the amount sent for recovery. The main country to which such waste was sent in 2008, either for recovery or for disposal, was Spain.

Figure 7 Transboundary waste transfers (hazardous and non-hazardous)

Fig. 7 - Transboundary waste transfers (hazardous and non-hazardous)

Source: APA, 2009

Further information at:

http://www.apambiente.pt/politicasambiente/Residuos/Paginas/default.aspx

 

 

The key drivers and pressures

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 08 Apr 2011

 

Between 1995 and 2008, production of UW and GDP in Portugal increased by nearly 32 % and 33 % respectively, showing a clear correlation between the two. Nonetheless, UW production was not accompanied by a corresponding increase in final household consumption.

 

In 2007, total Portuguese greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, excluding those from land-use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF), were estimated at about 81.8Mt CO2 equivalent, representing an increase of 36 % compared with 1990. Waste accounted for approximately 9 % of Portuguese emissions in 2007, an increase of approximately 30 % over 1990. The emissions for this sector grew significantly from 1990 to 1999. This increase in emissions is primarily related to the rise in waste generated, and closely associated with the increase in family income and urbanisation over the last decade, and landfilling.

 

Figure 8 Index of eco-efficiency in the waste sector, 1995 = 100

Fig. 8 - Index of eco-efficiency in the waste sector, 1995 = 100

 

 

Source: APA, 2009; INE, 2008; DGEG, 2009

 

Further information at:

http://www.apambiente.pt/politicasambiente/Ar/InventarioNacional/Documents/NIR_20090415f.pdf

 

 

The 2020 outlook

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 08 Apr 2011

The main trends in the development of the UW management sector involve increasing the management capacity of the systems. After an initial stage in which a great many final-destination technological infrastructures were built, the next phase of investment will focus on recovery technologies. In recycling, the aim is for increased efficiency in the collection and subsequent sorting of waste. In the field of organic recovery, efforts will be ongoing to divert biodegradable material from landfills, requiring considerable investment in biological treatment technologies and in mitigation and contingency measures to achieve the goals of the Landfill Directive.

Portugal has undertaken to meet the targets for recycling packaging waste under the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, which obliges Member States to respect a minimum recovery rate of 60 % by weight by the end of 2011, at least 55 % of which must correspond to recycling material. The minimum sectorial recycling targets are 60 % of paper/cardboard and glass packaging waste, 50 % of metal, 22.5 % of plastics and 15 % of wood.

Decree-Law No. 183/2009 of 10 August 2009, which transposes the Landfill Directive into Portuguese legislation, establishes the legal framework for landfilling and the technical characteristics and requirements for the design, licensing, building, operation, closure and post-closure of landfills. It sets targets for reducing landfilling of BUW by 50 % by weight in 2013 and by 35 % in 2020 using 1995 as the benchmark.

The Urban Waste Prevention Programme (PPRU), approved in February 2010, identifies four scenarios for the period 2007-2016 on the basis of available statistics and the results of existing urban waste prevention projects:

 

a)      optimistic: corresponding to a reduction of 21 % in daily collections in 2016, compared to 2007;

b)      moderate: corresponding to a reduction of 10 % in daily collections in 2016, compared to 2007;

c)       PERSU II[1]: corresponding to a reduction of 1.4 % in daily collections in 2016, compared to 2007;

d)      business-as-usual (BaU): corresponding to an increase of 1.9 % in daily collections in 2016, compared to 2007.

The development of these scenarios is represented in Figure 9.

 

Figure 9 Development of the collection of urban waste in Portugal: Optimistic, Moderate, PERSU II and BaU scenarios

 

Fig. 9 - Development of the collection of urban waste in Portugal: Optimistic, Moderate, PERSU II and BaU scenarios

Source: PPRU, 2010

 

Figure 10 Development of the total production of urban waste in Portugal: Optimistic, Moderate, PERSU II and BaU scenarios

 

Fig. 10 - Development of the total production of UW in Portugal: Optimistic, Moderate, PERSU II and BaU scenarios

Source: PPRU, 2010

 

It is considered that the moderate scenario as the most likely to be able to achieve. To this end related measures were applied with information on practicability on the ground and on their potential for the disaggregated reduction in line with the fraction/flow.

 

Table 2 Cumulative reductions envisaged (2009-2016) as a result of the adoption of the moderate scenario, 2009-2016

 

 

Reduction in collection (kg/inhab/year)
Moderate scenario



2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016


Organic matter

0.317

1.488

4.818

11.047

18.723

24.952

28.282

29.453


Paper and cardboard

0.042

0.196

0.634

1.455

2.465

3.286

3.724

3.878


Packaging

0.117

0.548

1.775

4.071

6.899

9.195

10.422

10.853


Bulky and others

0.025

0.117

0.380

0.872

1.478

1.970

2.233

2.325


Total

0.501

2.349

7.607

17.445

29.565

39.403

44.661

46.509


 

Total reduction in the amount of UW (103 t / year)
Moderate scenario



2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016


Organic matter

3.377

15.887

51.515

118.326

200.886

268.192

304.511

317.68


Paper and cardboard

0.445

2.092

6.783

15.581

26.452

35.314

40.097

41.831


Packaging

1.244

5.854

18.983

43.602

74.025

98.826

112.21

117.063


Bulky and others

0.267

1.254

4.067

9.340

15.858

21.171

24.038

25.077


Total

5.333

25.087

81.348

186.849

317.221

423.503

480.856

501.651


 



[1]Strategic Solid Urban Waste Plan 2007-2016.

Existing and planned responses

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 23 Nov 2010

A series of strategic guidelines for waste management have been laid down in specific waste management plans, particularly from the late 1990s onwards. The most significant examples include the Strategic Solid Urban Waste Plan (PERSU), the Strategic Hospital Waste Plan (PERH) and the Strategic Industrial Waste Management Plan (PESGRI).

 

Table 3 Sectorial waste management plans

 

Waste

 

Sectorial management plans

 

Urban Waste

 

PERSU (1997)

ENRUBDA (2003)

 

PIRSUE (2006)

PERSU II (2007)

 

PPRU (2009)

 

 

Strategic Solid Urban Waste Plan

National Strategy for the Reduction of Biodegradable Urban Waste for Landfill

Solid Urban Waste and Equivalent Action Plan

Strategic Solid Urban Waste Plan (revises the PERSU, ENRUBDA and PIRSUE)

Urban Waste Prevention Programme

 

Industrial Waste

 

PESGRI (1999)

PNAPRI (2000)

PESGRI (2001)

 

 

Strategic Industrial Waste Management Plan (amended by PESGRI 2001)

National Industrial Waste Prevention Plan

Strategic Industrial Waste Management Plan

 

Agricultural Waste

 

PERAGRI

 

Strategic Plan of Agricultural Wastes (orientation document)

Hospital Waste

 

PERH (1999)

 

 

Strategic Hospital Waste Plan

Strategic Hospital Waste Plan 2010-2016 (open to public consultation)

 

Source: APA, 2009

 

A new General Waste Management Scheme was approved in 2006 to meet the need to enshrine a group of principles in national legislation: self-sufficiency and prevention; preferring waste recovery to waste disposal; and encouraging a trend towards favouring reuse over recycling, and recycling over energy recovery. The new system simplified the administrative relations established between the State and private individuals and other organisations for licensing and providing information on waste. It also laid down the legal framework and the guiding principles of the Organised Waste Market (MOR), a voluntary economic instrument for facilitating and promoting commercial exchanges of waste, fostering recovery by bringing waste back into the economic circuit.

This programme introduced new fiscal instruments to encourage economic operators and final consumers to reduce waste production and improve the efficiency of treatment. The Waste Management Charge (TGR), in force since 2007, applies different rates for landfilled waste, waste managed by specific flow systems and incineration and co-incineration facilities. It aims to bring into Portuguese legislation a taxation instrument that has been successful in other countries, mobilising public taxes to promote efficient waste management by passing on the associated environmental costs to producers and consumers.

The General Waste Management Scheme was set up to draft the National Waste Management Plan (PNGR), which is nearing completion, with the following aims: to define the vision and strategic and operational aims for waste management for 2010-2016; to fix the guidelines to be set by the specific waste plans; and to set up an appropriate integrated network of waste recovery and disposal facilities drawing on the best available technologies at economically sustainable prices.

The Strategic Solid Urban Waste Plan (2007-2016), or PERSU II, was approved in 2007 and covers the period up to 2016. It is applied in mainland Portugal and sets the priorities for managing solid UW, the actions required to implement them, the targets to be met and the disciplinary guidelines to be defined by the multi-municipal, inter-municipal and municipal action plans. To tackle the problems caused by overflowing landfills and the separate collection of recoverable fractions, it was decided to phase out landfilling non-hazardous industrial waste in solid UW sites and to increase the installed capacity of facilities for recovering organic matter from solid UW.

The PERSU II was followed in 2010 by the approval of the Urban Waste Prevention Programme (PPRU) for 2009-2016, setting the national targets for waste prevention, defining priorities, identifying waste flows and key players and setting out a national UW prevention strategy with its corresponding action and monitoring plans.

Access to integrated hazardous waste recuperation, recovery and removal centres (CIRVER) for hazardous industrial waste (HIW) has been combined with co-incineration as a complementary or end-of-line solution since June 2008.

The review of the Strategic Hospital Waste Plan (PERH) is based on a diagnosis of the reference situation and aims to define management scenarios and promote the participation of public and private partners, evaluate new treatment technologies, and seek treatment synergies with other types of waste for 2010-2016.

The legal framework for construction and demolition waste management, approved in 2008, set the technical standards for construction and demolition waste management operations to ensure that waste reduction, reuse and recycling policies are applied to its flow.

 

Further information at:

http://www.apambiente.pt/politicasambiente/Residuos/planeamentoresiduos/Paginas/default.aspx

 

 

References

  • APA (2009). Estratégia Nacional de Desenvolvimento Sustentável (ENDS 2015) – 1º Relatório Bienal. Agência Portuguesa de Ambiente, Amadora.

http://desenvolvimentosustentavel.apambiente.pt/EstrategiaNacional/RelatoriosAvaliacao/Documents/IRELBIENAL_11_02_10_ENDS.pdf

  • APA (2009). Relatório do Estado do Ambiente 2008. Agência Portuguesa de Ambiente, Amadora.

http://www.apambiente.pt/divulgacao/Publicacoes/REA/Documents/REA%202008_Final.pdf

  • APA (2009). Plano Estratégico para os Resíduos Sólidos Urbanos 2007-2016: Relatório de Acompanhamento 2008. Agência Portuguesa de Ambiente, Amadora.

http://www.apambiente.pt/politicasambiente/Residuos/planeamentoresiduos/persuII/Documents/PERSU_II_monitorizacao_2008_.pdf

  • APA (2009). Portuguese National Inventory Report on Greenhouse Gases 1990-2007 submitted under UNFCCC. Agência Portuguesa de Ambiente, Amadora.

http://www.apambiente.pt/politicasambiente/Ar/InventarioNacional/Documents/NIR_20090415f.pdf

  • APA (2008). Relatório do Estado do Ambiente 2007. Agência Portuguesa de Ambiente, Amadora.

http://www.apambiente.pt/divulgacao/Publicacoes/REA/Documents/REA07_06out09.pdf

  • Decree-Law No. 178/2006, of 5 September 2006 – General Waste Management Scheme.

http://dre.pt/pdf1sdip/2006/09/17100/65266545.PDF

  • Decree-Law No. 45/2008, of 11 March 2008, ensuring the performance and respect under national legislation of the obligations upon the Portuguese State of Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 of the European Parliament and the Council, of 14 June 2006 on the transfer of waste.

http://www.dgaiec.min-financas.pt/NR/rdonlyres/BCE14FED-0CE9-4E1D-ACC0-0500178D2BE4/0/dl_45_2008.pdf

  • Decree-Law No. 183/2009 of 10 August 2009, establishing the legal framework for landfilling of waste, the technical characteristics and requirements to be followed in the design, licensing, building, operation, closure and post-closure of landfills, transposing Council Directive No 1999/31/EC of 26 April 1993 on landfilling of waste, amended by Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003 of the European Parliament and the Council, of 29 September 2003, applies Decision No. 2003/33/EC of 19 December 2002 and repeals Decree-Law No. 152/2002 of 23 May 2002.

http://dre.pt/pdf1s/2009/08/15300/0517005198.pdf

  • DGEG (2009). Balanços energéticos. Direcção-Geral de Energia e Geologia, Lisboa.

http://www.dgge.pt/

  • INE (2009). Anuário Estatístico de Portugal 2008. Instituto Nacional de Estatística, Lisboa.

http://www.ine.pt/xportal/xmain?xpid=INE&xpgid=ine_destaques&DESTAQUESdest_boui=56954456&DESTAQUESmodo=2

  • INE (2008). Estatísticas do Ambiente 2007. Instituto Nacional de Estatística, Lisboa.
  • INR (2001). Plano Estratégico de Gestão dos Resíduos Industriais. Instituto dos Resíduos, Lisboa.

http://netresiduos.trace.pt/resources/docs/planos_estrategicos/peri/pesgri.pdf

  • INR (2003). Estratégia Nacional para a Redução de Resíduos Urbanos Biodegradáveis. Instituto dos Resíduos, Lisboa.

http://www.portugal.gov.pt/pt/Documentos/Governo/MAOTDR/Apres_Estrategia_RUB.pdf

  • INETI/INR (2001). Plano Nacional de Prevenção de Resíduos Industriais. Instituto Nacional de Engenharia, Tecnologia e Inovação e Instituto dos Resíduos, Lisboa.

http://netresiduos.trace.pt/resources/docs/planos_estrategicos/pnpri_vol1/pnapri_vol1_netresíduos.pdf

  • MAOT (2010). Programa de Prevenção de Resíduos Urbanos. Ministério do Ambiente e do Ordenamento do Território, Lisboa.

http://www.apambiente.pt/politicasambiente/Residuos/prevencaoesiduos/PPRU/Documents/PPRU%202009-2016_Desp3227-2010.pdf

  • MAOTDR (2006). Plano de Intervenção para Resíduos Sólidos Urbanos e Equiparados. Ministério do Ambiente, do Ordenamento do Território e do Desenvolvimento Regional, Lisboa.

http://www.dre.pt/pdf2sdip/2006/01/006000000/0027600283.pdf

  • MAOTDR (2007). Plano Estratégico para os Resíduos Sólidos Urbanos 2007-2016 (PERSU II). Ministério do Ambiente, do Ordenamento do Território e do Desenvolvimento Regional, Lisboa.

http://www.portugal.gov.pt/pt/Documentos/Governo/MAOTDR/PERSU_2.pdf

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