The packaging waste relevant to the Collective Alternative Management System (CAMS – RECYCLING) is derived from many sources and follows different routes after use and following their disposal.
Driven by the optimal European practices, HERRCO has developed a flexible action plan aiming at the most effective utilization of funds collected by the affiliated companies for packaging recycling.
Thus, the activities of HERRCO include:
The Blue Bin constitutes the fundamental means for the fulfillment of the national targets since it undertakes the largest part of recycling realized in Greece resulting from the most crucial and difficult type of solid waste: municipal waste. The Blue Bin Project is addressed to the general public, in other words to all the inhabitants of Greece, and is developed in close collaboration with the Local Authorities, as provided by the legal framework in force.
Citizens are called to place their recyclable materials (packaging waste made of paper-cardboard, plastic, glass, aluminum and tinplate) in the Blue Bin. Worthy of special mention is also the project of print paper recycling – a material that is also disposed of in the Blue Bin.
The recyclable materials are collected by the municipalities and transferred to the Recycling Sorting Centers (RSCs) where they are sorted and dispatched for recycling. HERRCO promotes the development of the blue bin network in order to be in the position to gradually cover the entire population of Greece and also the modernization of the existing infrastructure. In special cases (i.e. the islands) or in areas where the Local Authorities choose to apply a different plan i.e. regional units of West Macedonia, Chania, the recycling projects apply more complex collection methods in cooperation with the Local Authorities, (two or three collection streams).
The Blue Bell serves exclusively the collection of glass packaging deriving from municipal waste. It mainly addresses large producers and venues of business activities that involve the consumption of goods in glass packaging (i.e. entertainment venues, hotel complexes, bars, cafeterias, restaurants etc.).
The goal of this particular project is to create a packaging waste stream that is as clear and pure as possible, close to its point of generation.
Apart from the Blue Bin and Blue Bell Projects, HERRCO engages in activities of recycling certification from other sources. More specifically:
Industrial and Commercial Packaging Waste (ICPW) constitutes the most important other source of recycling and involves mostly private, that is non-municipal (outside the collection mechanism of the Local Authorities) pre-existing recycling accruing from third parties. This recycling is certified by HERRCO on behalf of the competent authorities and according to agreements and procedures approved by the competent authorities. Controls, recording and certifications organized by HERRCO are realized by specialized audit companies. The recorded results of ICPW are in direct conjunction with the local and international market situation, as they actually illustrate in part the business activity of the industrial and commercial companies. In 2015, HERRCO certified 246 thousand tons of ICPW (paper, plastic and aluminum packaging).
Β. Material delivery to recycling industries
In 2015, an additional quantity of recycling of 734 tons of tin cans and 6.9 thousand tons of glass bottles was recorded, in collaboration with HELLENIC ALUMINIUM INDUSTRY S.A. (ELVAL S.A.) and YIOULA GLASSWORKS S.A.
Ανακύκλωση κουτιών αλουμινίου και γυάλινων φιαλών, σε συνεργασία με τις εταιρείες ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΒΙΟΜΗΧΑΝΙΑ ΑΛΟΥΜΙΝΙΟΥ Α.Ε. (ΕΛΒΑΛ Α.Ε.) και ΥΑΛΟΥΡΓΙΚΗ ΒΙΟΜΗΧΑΝΙΑ ΓΙΟΥΛΑ Α.Ε.
C. Organic recycling of wood packaging
Given the lack of end recipient for the recovery of wood packaging in Greece, HERRCO also implemented in 2015 the alternative solution of dispatching wood packaging (mostly wooden pallets) for the production of soil improver – humus (compost). In 2015, HERRCO certified 11 thousand tons of wood packaging for recycling.
D. Energy recovery through alternative fuel production
Another way for the recovery of packaging waste is through the production and use of alternative fuel. The packaging quantity in the form of alternative fuel which was sent to the cement industry for energy recovery reached 2.7 thousand tons in 2015.
Ε. Recovery of Packaging Waste through the processing of mixed waste
It concerns the agreement that is concluded between HERRCO and EDSNA for the certification of packaging material recovered via the Factory of Mechanical Recycling operated by EDSNA within the 1st Integrated Facility of Waste Handling in Western Attica.