Project summary

Cities are places where environmental performance management is of utmost importance: in the majority of them there is a concentration of unsustainable behaviours in terms of waste management, energy efficiency or mobility. Heritage Cities share this fact with other cities but, in addition, the preservation of heritage and the management of significant amounts of waste, due to high tourist and economic activity levels, make the observance of waste-related strategies by authorities, private actors and households of specific importance.

 Heritage cities share different characteristics:

  •  Historical artistic heritage, which leads to permanent flows of tourists, remarkable economic activity and significant production of related waste
  • Mostly ancient cities with winding city centres where ordinary waste management methods and equipment hardly work
  • Need to observe aesthetic criteria for interventions in urban protected spaces, waste- field interventions included
  • Visibility to the rest of the world

Improving local and regional policies for sustainable waste management in Heritage Cities.

Even though Heritage Cities have probably developed interesting solutions and policies in many fields, running waste-related services is complicated in such scenarios. In such a framework, the aim of INTHERWASTE is European Heritage Cities to exchange experiences and policies for efficient and sustainable management of municipal waste and  in order to contribute  through mutual capacity-building, policy learning and drafting action plans - to the environmental performance of waste management in EU cities.The capacity of the staff of involved authorities to design and implement policies and measures in the waste field and governance in the same field are expected to be improved, too. Solutions and policies proved feasible in INTHERWASTE are believed to be transferable to most Heritage Cities as well as to non-heritage (less-demanding contexts) cities in the EU. The visibility of Heritage Cities worldwide can help reduplicate experiences identified in many other cities.  

One project, Four steps

  1. Learning and exchanging best practices and policies
  2. Integrating this knowledge into concrete action plans
  3. Monitoring the action plans implemented in each city
  4. Sharing the solutions and policies with other European cities

Watch our video to discover more about INTHERWASTE & waste management in Heritage cities


from 1 Apr 2016
to 31 Mar 2021

Environment and resource efficiency

What policy instruments does the project address?

The instrument aims to develop the region of Andalusia through planning and interventions in key fields.

It is thematic objective 6 of the ERDF regional policy instrument - to preserve and protect the environment and to promote resource efficiency- that is addressed through the project, specifically investment priority 6.1.- waste management: actions supporting the development of separation, separate collection and treatment. The main objective of investment line 6.1. is to ensure the management of non-hazardous waste in the region of Andalusia addressed under quality standards in terms of both fair service to the citizenship and associated rigorous environmental protection.


INTHERWASTE can provide further improvements to the policy instrument approach providing that the focus of the project is placed on waste management in Heritage Cities. The project explores how to simultaneously observe the environmental aspects of waste management processes - emphasis placed on separate deposit and collection and recycling-, and integrate waste management related elements with the surrounding urban heritage, whether it is protected or not. This is something that is missing in the policy instrument. In addition, the project can improve the policy instrument by incorporating notions for guiding better practices in the region for already established priorities - separation, separate collection and treatment-, as the policy instrument is generalist when addressing how to approach them.  

Which partners are working on this?
  • Sanitation Córdoba (SADECO)

The North 2020 is the financial instrument that supports regional development of Northern Portugal, with a budget of 3.4 billion Euros.

It is organised into 10 Priority Axes in areas such as Research, Technological Development and Innovation; Competitiveness of SMEs; Low Carbon Economy; Environmental Quality; Urban System; Employment and Workers´ Mobility or Social Inclusion and Poverty, among others.

 It is priority axis 5 “Urban System” that it is addressed through INTHERWASTE, specifically thematic objective 6 “preservation and protection of the environment and resource efficiency” ; investment priority 6e concerns  “adoption of measures to improve the urban environment, revitalise cities, recover and decontaminate brownfield sites including conversion areas, reduce air pollution and promote noise reduction measures."


The policy instrument can be improved in order to make the guidance for efficient and sustainable waste management more specific and oriented, incorporating specific notions to promote prevention and valorisation in the region on a regular guided basis. Moreover there is room for the policy incorporating specificities for waste-related interventions in heritage urban areas; this is of importance for the special affluence of tourism and consequent production of waste and because of the aesthetic impact of waste and some waste-oriented solutions.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Municipality of Porto ("partner until 31/12/2017")
  • Municipality of Porto Environment Company (EMAP) ("partner from 01/12/2017")

Thematic objective 6 of Regional Structural Funds addresses “preserving and protecting the environment and promoting efficient use of resources”.

Priority 6a within concerns specifically investing in the waste sector to meet the obligations imposed by European Union legislation on the environment and to meet the needs identified by the member state as well as promoting investments going beyond these obligations.

According to 6.1. – optimisation of municipal waste management according to the European hierarchy, the specific objectives in the region of Sicily are:

6.1.1. To implement the activities envisaged in the National Plan for Waste Prevention, and

6.1.2. To achieve better waste separation systems and an adequate network of waste collection centres.


The policy instrument has room to be improved by further developing the contents concerning separate waste deposit, collection, and treatment in Sicilian cities, aiming at including advanced specific procedures and systems, and also incorporating the integration of waste management within the urban scenario into the instrument. 

Which partners are working on this?
  • Syracuse Municipality

The programme’s main objective is to increase the competitiveness of the Malopolska region. Priority axis 5 concerns environmental protection and Action 5.2. specifically concerns the development and implementation of a proper waste management system in the Malopolska region, including the city of Krakow.


To reach that goal it is necessary to take strategic actions such as waste prevention, selective waste collection, preparation for reuse and recycling, as well as other recovery and disposal processes. Waste recycling is a field that needs to be further explored in the policy instrument so selective collection is imperative now in Poland in order to meet national legal obligations, which will be complemented with formal protocols and measures for recycling.


Moreover, the notion of integrating the waste management systems and devices into the heritage contexts of many parts of the cities needs to be explored and systematised in the regional policy instrument as well as in the local ones. 

Which partners are working on this?
  • Municipality of Krakow

It deals with the situation of waste management in the administrative district and describes planning objectives for the organisation and rationalisation of waste management as well as measures required to achieve these objectives. It is the strategic waste plan in the city area.


Objectives of the plan are:

- Conducting different research studies and surveys on the subject, informing the citizens

- Informing the citizens on waste management in Tallinn

- Improving separate collection and sorting of waste, in accordance with the waste hierarchy, favouring alternative methods for waste treatment. 

- Organising waste collection in the whole city, and

- Cooperation with neighbouring municipalities.


This policy instrument can be improved by producing tailored regulation and planning for waste management in Tallinn Old Town, a currently inexistent approach. The need for it is made evident and in the next Plan from 2016 onwards Tallinn Old Town is expected to be considered as a special district with unique challenges in waste management due to the fact that its historic heritage conditions the interventions. These special circumstances for waste management in Old Town have not been previously addressed previously. The current Waste Management Plan 2012-2016 will be shortly replaced with a new one whose contents can be clearly influenced by the results of the cooperation. 

Which partners are working on this?
  • Municipality of Tallinn

The Public Waste Collection Sheet under way since 2016 deals with the different needs of the municipality of Ibiza with regard to waste including the heritage city and limiting areas.

It has facilitated more and better resources and procedures to be implemented and the fact of a strategic plan for waste management being currently under study.

INTHERWASTE can further improve the Public Waste Collection Sheet in force as the focus of the project is placed on waste management in Heritage Cities. The project explores how to simultaneously observe environmental aspects of waste management processes - emphasis placed on separate deposit and collection and recycling – and integrate waste management related elements with the surrounding urban heritage. This approach can enable tailored regulation and planning in our Local Waste Collection Sheet as well as in future strategic documents.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Municipality of Ibiza (from 1st. May 2017)