Interreg Intherwaste project partner the municipality of Tallinn has been shortlisted for the European Green Capital 2022 Award, the European Commission announced on May 12, 2020. The other three finalists are the cities of Grenoble and Dijon (France) and Turin in Italy.

The recognition is well deserved, for the Estonian capital has made great strides at paving the way to a sustainable development model through a transparent and participatory decision-making process. 

In its explanatory note about the selection decision, the European Commission emphasised the city’s 2030 development strategy, which integrates aspects related to rainwater, landscape, and resource management, articulating them into a cohesive strategy. Tallinn has also successfully managed its transition from a post-Soviet industrial city to a hub for entrepreneurship, academia, and technology. In so doing, the city has tackled issues related to pollution, noise, and water management.

Furthermore, “Tallinn was strong on public engagement when developing this strategy, with a ‘thought paper’, several workshops, good feedback process and quantification of the participation”, the note adds.

Since 2016, Estonia’s capital has been working alongside the five other partners in the Interreg Intherwaste project to learn from best practices in waste management in heritage cities and carry them locally.

Tallinn has singled out bulky and hazardous waste as particularly pertinent issues in its project action plan. In order to address them, the city has set up two repair and resale points for bulky and other types of household items in order to give a new life to objects that would otherwise end up being discarded; and has defined a schedule and route for the mobile collection of the hazardous waste that its residents generate.

Annemari Kask, Chief Specialist at Tallinn’s Waste Management Division, said that “being selected among the finalists for the Green Capital Award 2022 is a great recognition for our work. We are happy that the collection of hazardous waste received a positive mention and was evaluated favourably. This is also our goal in the Intherwaste Project, to improve hazardous waste collection and sensitise our residents to this problem.“

The winner of European Green Capital 2022 will be awarded €350,000 and will be announced later in the year, the Commission added in its communique.

We invite our readers to join the Interreg Intherwaste project consortium in extending their heartfelt congratulations to Tallinn for the well-deserved recognition. We are keeping our fingers crossed for the final decision!