OVAM, the Public Waste Agency of Flanders, is a dynamic Flemish Government institution that was established in 1981 following the Decree of July 2nd 1981 on waste prevention and management (Waste Decree). The OVAM is the principal authority for waste management and soil remediation in Flanders, a Belgian region with a population of 6,161,600 (2008). Its main task is to prepare and implement waste management legislation. Initially concentrating on cleaning up waste and setting up an effective infrastructure for waste management, OVAM’s approach has now evolved towards prevention through sustainable resource management.
Flanders waste management picture
In accordance with the European Waste Framework Directive, Flemish waste policy gives top priority to waste prevention, followed by re-use, recycling, waste incineration (with energy recovery) and, as last and worst option, landfilling. The regional recycling target has been fixed at 75 per cent of total municipal solid waste. Flanders’ planned and integrated waste management and waste management policy is one of the most successful in Europe. Door-to-door schemes together with a high density of civic amenity sites facilitate separate collection at source so that 73 per cent of municipal solid waste is collected in order to be re-used, recycled or composted, just 2 percentage points below the regional target.
OVAM is constantly looking for ways to maintain and improve its (already good) recycling performances. A common framework to calculate the generation of municipal solid waste, and the waste streams collected separately and recycled, will make it possible to compare and to benchmark the results achieved with the other regions. OVAM’s success and great expertise in waste recycling and using efficient local instruments to improve performances will be a valuable source of inspiration to less-experienced R4R partners.
OVAM has participated in two EU Twinning projects on waste management, both as senior and junior partner. The Twinning project with the Hungarian Ministry on Environment established guidelines for the preparation of regional waste plans and elaborated a database for waste data. In the Twinning project with the Regional Environmental Agency of the Region Bacau (Romania), OVAM contributed as junior partner to the development of a Centre of Excellence for organic and household waste. OVAM has been involved in INTERREG IVC "Cradle to Cradle Network" and led the INTERREG IVB project "CityChlor". A committed member of ACR+, OVAM also functions as a co-leader of the Observatory on Municipal Waste Recycling Performances.
OVAM as Component Leader in R4R
OVAM was one of the lead partners and responsible for Component 3, Good Practices Exchange and Development of a common tool to collect, analyse and present waste management data. The following steps were implemented under OVAM’s direction:
- Elaboration of a common framework to collect and analyse waste management data
- Identification of relevant external factors and local instruments to improve recycling performances
- Development of an online tool to facilitate data collection and analysis
- Data collection and analysis from territories outside the partnership using the online tool
- Identification of high performances according to territory types (urban, rural, ...)
- Identification and transferability assessment of good practices and the most efficient local instruments
- Implementation plan for at least one good practice per project partner
OVAM shared the following good practices with the other R4R partners and developed an implementation plan about R4R results.
OVAM also organised a regional event to promote the R4R project in Flanders on 3 June 2014.
Learn what skills, expertise, and experience the OVAM is bringing to the R4R project, and where it still sees room for improvements in terms of waste management.
For more information: OVAM's website
| Contact details
E-mail: Mr. Maarten De Groof
Telephone : + 32 15 284 553
Authors: Yasmina Akhandaf & Anne Vandeputte