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Project Summary Project Description Application of Tools Opinion of Tools Decision making process Contact Details

Project description

Name of the case study
Waste Management Concept - Plastics, in Graz

Description of context
The basis for all initiatives in improving the waste management concept for the city of Graz is the waste management plan of the province of Styria. This regulation controls avoidance, recycling, handling and disposal of waste in the provincial capital Graz. This regulation also states that waste has to be collected separately: paper, glass, metal, plastics, textiles and wood.

Plastic packaging is subdivided into 8 fractions (foils, hollow bodies, etc.) and the biggest part of it goes into substantial recycling which means that the material is processed and used again in other forms, the other part is used as a substitute for other combustibles now but will not longer be allowed to be burnt. From 1st of January 2004, 95% of all plastic packaging has to be collected.

Landfill site where plastic packaging is dumped
Landfill site where plastic packaging is dumped

Description of project - background
The cost of disposal of plastic packaging to landfill is much more expensive than if it is collected and handled separately for recycling. So the city of Graz has implemented the waste management plan before it was enforced by law.

The municipality is obliged to reach as high a collection rate as possible for plastic packaging and with as little non-plastic substances included in the material collected as recycling as possible. ARGEV, one of the private companies which is authorised to collect plastic packaging in the area of Graz, started a pilot project in October 2001. This involved yellow bins used for the collection of plastic packaging have been replaced by yellow bags (those bags have been used only in rural areas so far). The notion behind this was that the quality of plastic in the bags is better than in the bins. This is because the bins contain 25 – 30% of incorrect material whereas in the bags there are only about 10% mistakes because no heavy things or metals can be disposed of in the bag without destroying it.

Bins used for collecting packaging material The
Bins used for collecting packaging material and The Yellow bag

Description of project - objectives/aims
The main objective of the project was to reduce the amount of waste in the city of Graz and to reduce costs of disposal.

Description of project - time interval and stages
There has been a preliminary review of the project, followed by a screening and information-gathering stage and an optimisation phase which is still going on.

Description of project - financing
The tool has been worked out by the department of waste management in the municipality of Graz under whose remit this falls.

Description of project - other sectors involved
There have been close contacts with the environmental department of the city of Graz during the process.

What tools were used to assess sustainability?

Waste management plan - pilot project "Yellow bag"

More information

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