Following the European Parliament’s Resolution - 14 November 1996 - on the subject, the European Commission has legislated on waste streams. In particular it has drafted specific Directives on end-of-life vehicles and WEEE management. At the time of the project, Cyprus was on the threshold of joining the EU and implementing the programme of bringing its national policies in line with those of the EU. Within this context, it was necessary to draw up a clear picture of the existing situation in Cyprus and develop appropriate waste management programmes to deal with end-of-life vehicles, the waste generated by construction and demolition activities and waste electrical and electronic equipment.
The LIFE project ‘KYPROS’ aimed to meet the Cypriot need to develop effective and sustainable systems for the management of waste streams in line with the European Directives. It targeted its efforts on three priority areas:
- End of life vehicles (ELVs)
- Construction and demolition waste (C&DW)
- Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).
The project sought to establish a clear and up-to-date view of the existing situation in Cyprus with respect to the three priority waste streams and then elaborate effective, sustainable and viable management systems for each. The project was designed to promote and strengthen the capacity for the protection of the environment and public health in the country. It aimed to help achieve Cyprus’ national environmental targets and assist the country in meeting the requirements of the following EU legislation:
- ELVs a.Directive 53/2000 on end-of-life vehicles b.Decision 525/2002 amending Directive 53/2000 c.Decision 151/2002 on destruction certificates for ELVs
- C&DW a.Sixth Environment Action Plan, in particular regarding its provisions for the development of national action plans for the recovery, reuse and recycling of materials for construction and demolition waste.
- WEEE a.Directive 96/2002 on waste from electric and electronic equipment b.Directive 95/2002 on the limitation of using certain hazardous substances in electric and electronic equipment.
The project team used information spreadsheets, questionnaires, the saved data of relevant services, and meetings with experts to collect primary data on the three waste streams, including their principal sources, quantities and hazardous elements. A new database and innovative software were developed to collect and analyse this data, whilst the development of mathematical algorithms enabled the forecasting of future waste production in each stream. The project selected and weighted appropriate criteria and then used the PROMETHEE II multi-criteria decision method to analyse the quality of existing and alternative management procedures - including systems used in other EU countries. This analysis identified the optimum management system for each waste stream in Cyprus as follows:
- ELVs: partial disassembling, shredding of hulk, separation of materials, recovery of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, landfilling of shredding residue.
- C&DW: the construction and operation of Recycling Centres, including with incentives for building contractors to promote selective demolition of buildings.
- WEEE: de-pollution and partial disassembly locally and then forwarding of materials for shredding and the recovery of materials either locally or abroad.
A detailed techno-economic study revealed that the ELV and C&DW schemes were economically viable. However, the ones for WEEE need to be subsidised due to high labour and WEEE-collection costs. Regarding the refrigerators' sub-stream, transfer and management abroad is recommended given the high cost of de-pollution and the need for trained personnel. These results were crucial in providing - for the first time - coherent and easy-to-use information enabling the competent authorities to better develop waste management plans. They informed the development of Cyprus’ long-term waste management strategy for the three streams. The application of these procedures will reduce the uncontrolled disposal of waste in the future, thus protecting the environment and the public from hazardous substances. The recovery of secondary raw materials will save key resources and energy. The tools and methodology have a high possibility to be used for the development of management systems for other waste streams in Cyprus - such as used oils and sludge. Furthermore, they can be usefully transferred to other countries, especially in candidate countries working towards EU environmental approximation.