Steady reduction of waste production a priority, Environment Minister says

Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Costas Kadis has said that the steady reduction of waste production constitutes a priority for his Ministry.

Addressing an event hosted by Aradippou Municipality during which academic of the National Technical University of Athens Maria Loizidou presented a pilot programme for zero production of household solid waste, Kadis said the initiative was commendable.

He added that the goal of a steady reduction of waste production has been set as a priority for the Ministry of Agriculture, in the context of a comprehensive strategy on waste management. He further noted that initiatives such as the one by Aradippou Municipality enhance the Ministry’s work in that direction.

Kadis also noted that zero waste production is part of European directives and will contribute in the effort of our country to transition from a linear to a circular economic model.

According to him, the need to further promote the separate collection, the reuse and recycling of waste and to limit the use of landfills, is also imperative.

The great challenge the ministry is faced with according to Kadis is planning targeted policies and actions for the sound management of municipal waste, ensuring the cooperation of involved bodies and taking into consideration that Cyprus ranks among countries with the greatest per capita waste production in Europe.

Therefore, he added, enhancing the role and responsibilities of local administration in the matter of sound management of municipal waste is considered to be particularly important right now.

The Environment Minister also said that regulations have been drafted and are now at the stage of consultation on the basis of which local authorities will have to implement separate collection of municipal waste systems and sorting at their source.

In this way, he continued, local authorities will be given responsibilities and the framework within which they should act is defined, through the promotion of pay as you throw programmes.

According to Kadis, in order to support technically and financially local authorities to implement the regulations, a subsidies scheme is projected aiming to help local authorities in drafting and implementing their own action plans to manage municipal waste.

It is expected that the scheme approved will be of the order of 20 million euros, with an annual expenditure of four million euros, over a five-year period, he added.

Costas Kadis urged all citizens to take part in this important initiative of Aradippou Municipality so that other local authorities follow, enhancing the goal which have been set through European directives on municipal waste management.

The ministry, he pointed out, will stand ready to cooperate and support these efforts and will be waiting for this particular programme’s outcomes.

He further congratulated the people behind the idea for the programme and everyone who will take part in implementing it.

Source: Cyprus News Agency