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Agència de Residus de Catalunya (ARC), Spain

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The Agència de Residus de Catalunya (ARC) is the public authority for Waste Management in the Autonomous Community of Catalonia, home to more than 7.5 million inhabitants. As the actual MSW collection and management is the responsibility of the municipalities, ARC is concerned with the overall planning and development of waste management strategies, as well the use of financial instruments. ARC’s main objectives are the minimisation of the quantity of waste generated and its hazardousness, the promotion of selective collection, waste recovery, final waste disposal, and the recovery of land polluted by uncontrolled dumping. The Agency also maintains a database on municipal waste management and publishes annual waste statistics for Catalonia, thus possessing ample experience in waste data collection and processing.

Catalonia waste management picture

Preventive measures implemented under 2008–2015 National Integrated Waste Plan (PNIR) together with the application of legislation deriving from the national incorporation of the EU's Waste Framework Directive are expected to notably reduce waste generation, increase recycling rates and lower landfill. The PNIR sets targets through to 2015, encouraging the involved authorities and economic agents to integrate the guiding principles of European waste policy and to significantly change waste management in Spain. Many of the PNIR targets and measures are strategic in nature and are intended to provide guidelines for development of specific management policies for various waste types and to change waste management.

The General Program for the Prevention and Waste and Resource Management in Catalonia 2013-2020 (PRECAT20) is the instrument created by the Generalitat of Catalonia to meet the strategic challenges and the objectives for prevention and waste management over the next eight years. Rather than on waste origin, as previous programs, it is based on waste material flows. This approach reinforces the status of the waste as a resource and synergies in the management of the various material flows, regardless of their origin, and allows overcoming the limitations of classical management strategies.

According to the data compiled by the European Decentralised Observatory for Municipal Waste Recycling Performances, disposal through landfilling is still (2009) the main method of treatment in Catalonia, reaching more than 40 per cent of the total treated quantities. The selective collection rate is merely 38 per cent, the recycling rate unknown. Through an exchange of good waste management practices and enhanced awareness-raising in the context of the R4R project, ARC hopes to achieve higher selective collection and recycling rates, and to reach the regional target of 48 per cent materially recovered municipal solid waste by 2012. ARC is also especially interested in harmonising waste data and statistical methodology in order to draw up exact balances for municipal waste streams. This would improve the control of municipal waste management as well as facilitate the assessment of the recycling performance on different territorial levels in Catalonia.

ARC’s Activities

ARC is a full member of ACR+ and regularly participates in conferences, meetings and seminars on improving waste management and recycling. For example, ARC is one of the participants in the European Decentralised Observatory for Municipal Waste Recycling Performances, on the results of which the R4R project is based. The Agency is also one of the project partners of the European Week for Waste Reduction, a LIFE+ initiative promoting sustainable waste reduction actions across Europe.

Like all other R4R partners, ARC contributed to the collection of data and good practices, aiming to apply at least one new strategy on its territory. In 2013, ARC disseminated the achievements of the R4R project by organising a regional event, and by publishing an article in a specialised magazine.

ARC shared the following good practices with the other R4R partners and developed an implementation plan about R4R results.

Learn what competences, skills, and experience ARC is bringing to the R4R project, and where it still sees room for improvements in terms of waste management. 

For more information: Website of ARC

Contact details
Agència de Residus de Catalunya
C/Dr. Roux 80
08017 Barcelona

E-mail: Ms. Gisela Sommer
Telephone: + 34935673300


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