LIFE PAYT: Tool to reduce waste in South Europe

The project aims at developing activities necessary for the implementation of the specific objectives for waste set out in the Roadmap for a Resource-Efficient Europe and the 7th Environment Action Programme, contributing to promote the waste hierarchy (prevention, re-use and recycling).

Current municipal waste management practices in Portugal, Greece and Cyprus have failed to achieve high recycling rates and will have difficulties in assuming EU waste environmental targets for 2020. Source segregation is poor, less than 15% of all light-weight packaging is presently materially recovered, while more than 85% is sent unsorted (highly contaminated) to MBT and Landfills. The scenario is similar in most part of South European countries.

Citizens, commerce, services actively engaged in source segregation and recycling are not paying a fair fee for their waste and do not feel rewarded, leading to decreased commitment. In practice they subsidize citizens, services and even industry that discard unsorted residual waste in the municipal “anonymous” containers. The project LIFE PAYT – Tool to Reduce Waste in South Europe aims to change strategies, tackling present obstacles and contribute to transform decision makers (elected officials; tech. staff) mind-set and eliminate misconceptions regarding PAYT (Pay-As-You-Throw). Local authorities will be exposed to innovative (in this part of Europe) methods, technologies, and actions primarily targeting waste prevention, reuse, and separate collection, empowering them to pursue different practices and financing them. LIFE PAYT has four main objectives:

  • Reduce residual waste from household and commerce
  • Increase separate collection rates for packaging materials
  • Demonstrate that PAYT is feasible, changing local decision makers, tech. staff mind-set, in Southern European Municipalities, resulting in benefits and contributing to the implementation of EU environmental strategies and targets.
  • Promote the replication of the concept to wider regions with the same problems.

Overall, the Project will make LIFE PAYT municipalities pioneers by conceiving a PAYT that increases sustainability and economic self-reliance. Mainly, the successful adaptation of PAYT to South Europe municipalities is the ultimate objective.


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