This month, Lousada, in Portugal, was the stage for an international meeting of experts in urban waste management. About 20 participants were able to better understand the urban waste management system implemented in Lousada, and learn about some good practices. The project Sustainable Waste was visited and explained. This initiative provides discounts on the municipal waste management tariff to residents who deliver their recyclables at the Municipal EcoCentre, exemplifying one of the few Win As You Throw schemes in Europe. The Lagoa Kindergarten was also visited to demonstrate the operation of the BioEscola 360 project, which aims to reduce the environmental footprint of the municipality's schools, through environmental education and by financially encouraging the recycling of waste and saving water and electricity.
Some more sectored waste recovery practices were also demonstrated through the glass recycling programme currently underway in the municipality's HORECA channel (hotels, restaurants and cafes).
The event was also enriched with talks and round tables that encouraged the sharing of good practices and co-learning. Among these moments, the presentation of the "Recycling Barometer" by Rui Berkemeier, from ZERO – a large Portuguese environmental NGO, stands out. The event’s programme ended with a technical visit to LIPOR's Sorting Plant and Organic Recovery Plant.
The knowledge acquired and shared will contribute to the elaboration of Regional Action Plans aimed at improving the efficiency of waste management in the project's partner regions.
The Optiwamag project seeks innovation in waste management policies in six European regions of Portugal, Sweden, Latvia, Greece, Hungary and Italy. The project runs from 2019 to 2023 and has the financial support of the European Union - the Interreg Europe programme and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).