The Municipality of Vari, Voula, Vouliagmeni, organized a very succesful event entitled “Municipality of VVV – Heading towards a zero waste society” on September 22, 2021 in the context of Action E1.8 “Local awareness raising events for the LIFE-IP CEI-Greece demonstration actions”.
The Municipality of VVV is a strategic partner of LIFE-IP CEI-Greece, a european LIFE project coordinated by the Ministry of Environment and Energy in collaboration with 18 strategic partners. This cooperation aims to expand and fully apply in the municipality, the principle of waste separation at source with a number of separate recyclable streams, as well as a system of “Pay as you Throw” (PAYT), already applied in the areas of Pigadakia in Voula and Dilofo at Vari.
The event opened with Greeting speeches by Mr. Stelios Petsas (Deputy Minister of Interior) and Mr. Manolis Grafakos (General Secretary of Waste Management Coordination).
The Mayor of Vari, Voula, Vouliagmeni, Mr. Grigoris Konstantellos during his opening welcome speech explained the long term vision and strategy of the municipality and the progression of relevant synergies, in order to fully apply a PAYT system within the next two years, an ambitious plan that will operate as an innovative example, for all the municipalities of Greece.
Succesful examples and best practices were presented from guest speakers from abroad, in particular Ms. Nina Sankovic from the Waste Management Unit of Ljubljana, Slovenia and Mr. Andreas Konstantinou, Mayor of Aglantzia, Cyprus. The guest speakers elaborated on the challenges and difficulties they had to address, during the implementation stage of PAYT systems in their cities, and the solutions that led to success. Emphasis was put upon two way communication with all stakeholders, social justice and the cultivation of a long term environmental awareness.
A speech from the Director of the Cleaning and Recycling Dpt. of the Municipality of VVV followed, Dr. Miltiadis Kavrakos, who presented useful data on waste management as well as the action plan of the Waste Management team during the last 5 years, that had set specific targets for separating at source, implementing circular economy principles and aggregating reliable data for making informed decisions. Mr. Kavrakos presented a system of separating at source, applied today as a pilot scheme in the Municipality of VVV, an early step towards the full implementation of PAYT.
Finally Dr. Kyrkitsos, President of the Ecological Recycling Society, a strategic partner of the LIFE -IP CEI-Greece project, presented all preparation that has taken place so far within the project framework, in order to pass on the next critical step for waste management in the Municipality of Vari, Voula, Vouliagmeni, which is a full scale implementation of a “Pay as you Throw” system.
Dr. Kyrkitsos presented, among a number of alternative solutions for the implementation of PAYT, the preferred ones for the Municipality of VVV, as well as the benefits of PAYT, a much fairer, for local citizens, businesses and the public sector, economically viable and environmentally friendly model of waste management.
A number of very interesting videos were shown, presenting the programme ‘I win as I separate’ applied today as a pilot scheme with 7 seperate recyclable waste streams, as well as interviews and opinions of citizens that participate in this programme.
Ms Aggeliki Athanasopoulou presented the event.