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Moving Up the EU Waste Hierarchy in Remote Area: Exploring the Case of Lesvos Island, Greece

Harnnarong, Faikham (2009) In IIIEE Master thesis IMEN56 20091
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
Abstract
The main purpose of this research is to contribute to sustainable waste management in remote areas of the European Union (EU) by specifically employing the concept of ‘waste hierarchy’ as a mean to reach this goal. The last three decades see the EU waste management approach evolve from pollution control (disposal/end-of-pipe) toward more strategic approach focusing on waste prevention and recycling. This evolution has been instrumental for many Member States’ waste policy transformation notwithstanding; many remote areas of the EU are still lag
behind in their waste management situation. Lesvos Island of Greece is one such areas still
dealing with numerous dumpsites scattering around the island, anticipating a single central
landfill,... (More)
The main purpose of this research is to contribute to sustainable waste management in remote areas of the European Union (EU) by specifically employing the concept of ‘waste hierarchy’ as a mean to reach this goal. The last three decades see the EU waste management approach evolve from pollution control (disposal/end-of-pipe) toward more strategic approach focusing on waste prevention and recycling. This evolution has been instrumental for many Member States’ waste policy transformation notwithstanding; many remote areas of the EU are still lag
behind in their waste management situation. Lesvos Island of Greece is one such areas still
dealing with numerous dumpsites scattering around the island, anticipating a single central
landfill, and having no formal recycling system - therefore chosen as a case study. To learn
how to improve this situation, relationship between the EU policy implications and factors
which condition waste management in the remote/rural Island was investigated. The factors
were explored through in-depth interviews with stakeholders, chosen by triangulation method,
representing local government authorities, academics, and civil society.
The research has confirmed that transposition of the EU waste Directives into the Greek
national policy does not imply effective implementation; its implications on the local waste
policy and implementation in Lesvos are very limited. Factors influencing the current local
waste policy agenda have been identified. This includes: keep to conventional perception of
waste management, low pressures from citizens and from regulation obligations, lack of
willingness to change, and limited resources and funding. However, the current situation of
uncontrolled dumpsites, growing amount of waste, opposition to construct more landfill, and
high cost of waste transport (characteristic of remote areas and islands) suggest that Lesvos
needs more sustainable alternatives for waste management. The research has concluded that
the Island should pursue a more holistic approach to waste management, considering socioeconomic
and environmental benefits that waste management can contribute to its sustainable
development. Correspondingly, community source-separation, recycling, and composting are
proposed as they may contribute to the Island’s energy and resources independency.
Moreover, some voluntary recycling initiatives/systems run by private companies and local
NGO exist in Lesvos. It is therefore wise to maximize these systems in order to increase the
resource-use efficiency. Furthermore, recycling of some specific waste streams (e.g. packaging
waste) which have low material prices can not be economically viable for the remote Island
where costs of energy and transportation are high. Since these waste streams are regulated by
relevant EU Directives and having established national (collective or individual producers
responsibility) systems for their alternative management; involvement (e.g. financial support)
from the national systems will be instrumental in their recycling in Lesvos as well as other
remote areas of the EU.
Key (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
@misc{1580019,
  abstract     = {The main purpose of this research is to contribute to sustainable waste management in remote areas of the European Union (EU) by specifically employing the concept of ‘waste hierarchy’ as a mean to reach this goal. The last three decades see the EU waste management approach evolve from pollution control (disposal/end-of-pipe) toward more strategic approach focusing on waste prevention and recycling. This evolution has been instrumental for many Member States’ waste policy transformation notwithstanding; many remote areas of the EU are still lag
behind in their waste management situation. Lesvos Island of Greece is one such areas still
dealing with numerous dumpsites scattering around the island, anticipating a single central
landfill, and having no formal recycling system - therefore chosen as a case study. To learn
how to improve this situation, relationship between the EU policy implications and factors
which condition waste management in the remote/rural Island was investigated. The factors
were explored through in-depth interviews with stakeholders, chosen by triangulation method,
representing local government authorities, academics, and civil society.
The research has confirmed that transposition of the EU waste Directives into the Greek
national policy does not imply effective implementation; its implications on the local waste
policy and implementation in Lesvos are very limited. Factors influencing the current local
waste policy agenda have been identified. This includes: keep to conventional perception of
waste management, low pressures from citizens and from regulation obligations, lack of
willingness to change, and limited resources and funding. However, the current situation of
uncontrolled dumpsites, growing amount of waste, opposition to construct more landfill, and
high cost of waste transport (characteristic of remote areas and islands) suggest that Lesvos
needs more sustainable alternatives for waste management. The research has concluded that
the Island should pursue a more holistic approach to waste management, considering socioeconomic
and environmental benefits that waste management can contribute to its sustainable
development. Correspondingly, community source-separation, recycling, and composting are
proposed as they may contribute to the Island’s energy and resources independency.
Moreover, some voluntary recycling initiatives/systems run by private companies and local
NGO exist in Lesvos. It is therefore wise to maximize these systems in order to increase the
resource-use efficiency. Furthermore, recycling of some specific waste streams (e.g. packaging
waste) which have low material prices can not be economically viable for the remote Island
where costs of energy and transportation are high. Since these waste streams are regulated by
relevant EU Directives and having established national (collective or individual producers
responsibility) systems for their alternative management; involvement (e.g. financial support)
from the national systems will be instrumental in their recycling in Lesvos as well as other
remote areas of the EU.
Key},
  author       = {Harnnarong, Faikham},
  issn         = {1401-9191},
  keyword      = {European Union,EU waste management,EU waste policy,waste policy,waste
hierarchy,recycling,recovery,sustainable development,community recycling,municipal solid
waste management,municipal solid waste,solid waste management,waste management in
remote areas,remote areas,island waste management,Greece,Lesvos},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {IIIEE Master thesis},
  title        = {Moving Up the EU Waste Hierarchy in Remote Area: Exploring the Case of Lesvos Island, Greece},
  year         = {2009},
}