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Establishing obligatory recycling by citizens is deemed absolutely necessary, in the framework of Cyprus` obligations towards the EU, which expects that by the year 2030 there will be full recycling of everyday waste.

This emerged from a discussion held in Limassol, on the occasion of the Green Dot Cyprus Recycling Festival.

Replying to questions during the discussion, Green Dot Cyprus President Michalis Spanos reminded that, while the effort began in 2008 and the Union of Municipalities met the prerequisites, by preparing a study on a combination of obligatory sorting of waste at the source and the “Pay as you throw” system, today the state is hoping for a law which will be in force as of 2020.

“We live in a country which has not passed regulations and the citizen here is playing the leading role, as it is the citizens who brought recycling to the point it is today on a voluntary basis”, he said.

Limassol Mayor Andreas Christou said that a document with municipal regulations was recently adopted, in which recycling is obligatory, however nothing can be applied since there is no legislation in place and “the proposed bill remains on the table since 2010 because there were some individual disagreements”.

He noted that “the cost of protecting the environment is lower than the cost of not protecting the environment”.

Green Dot Cyprus General Manager Kyriacos Parpounas said that today the percentage of Cypriots participating in recycling is around 50% in urban areas, however the aims set by the EU for the future are “incredibly high”, since by the year 2030 the percentage for most materials must reach 90%, meaning almost total recycling.

“Great effort is needed for Cyprus to reach these aims”, Parpounas said, adding that European directives are calling for the reduction in the burying of waste to 5% by 2030, and we must find ways to close almost all the current landfills.

References to the cost to household from the operation of the Installation and Integrated Waste Management Unit for the Limassol District, in Pentakomo, were made by Mayor of Ayios Athanasios and President of the Limassol Unit`s board of directors Kyriacos Hadjittofis.

This cost has been calculated at 19 Euros per tonne of mixed waste (compared to 6-7 Euros for the use of the Vati landfill), however, he said, the increase or decrease of the cost for each household will depend on its participation in recycling.

“The cost will emerge from the waste sent to the unit, so less waste will mean a lower financial burden on the citizens”, Hadjittofis explained, noting at the same time the importance of the proper management at the source (the households), and that what is useless for one could be raw material for another.

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