Methods of Cooperation with Local Authorities

Local Authorities (OTAs) – or other competent municipal bodies – and HERRCO sign collaboration agreements aimed at more efficient organization and management of packaging waste recycling, in accordance with Law 2939/01, as replaced by Law 4819/2021. The cooperation framework between OTAs and HERRCO includes two alternative modes:

Planning and Operation

The Blue Bin projects relate to the most important and difficult part of waste: municipal waste. They are addressed to the general public and are developed in cooperation with the Local Authorities, as provided for by the institutional framework. HERRCO continuously promotes the further development of the Blue Bins network.

The System proposes the basic plan of the blue bin project to the cooperating OTAs.

The project planning is based on the population of the OTA to be included, according to the 2011 census (Hellenic Statistical Authority data). The equipment supplied to the OTAs shall include:

• Reusable recycling bags of a number equivalent to the number of the households of the OTA concerned.
• Adequate number of blue bins to fully meet the needs of the Municipality by applying the ratio of 1 bin per 75 residents.
• One (1) 15-16-ton collection vehicle (CV) for a network of at least 250 bins (corresponding to approximately 20 thousand residents) and one extra CV performing two trips to the MRF daily (or to the transhipment station) or operating 16 hours daily.

In some cases, planning is not based on the census data, as the population may either change seasonally (usually in holiday destinations) or have significantly changed since the census.

In such cases, the initial planning is based either on Solid Waste data or by estimating the equivalent population during the season that we have the maximum population (e.g., summer), as the bin network and the collection equipment should cover all seasons.

Where the population of an OTA is such that the provision of a collection vehicle is not justified, the OTA may choose either to cooperate with another neighbouring OTA and use a vehicle jointly or use its own collection vehicle and be financially supported by HERRCO for the use of its own collection vehicle based on the quantities collected from the blue bin network and transported to the MRF.

Once an agreement has been reached on the planning, the procedure for the donation of the collection vehicles succeeds. When the procedure is completed, the schedule shall be jointly prepared with the OTA, which shall include the start and completion dates of the information, the placement of the bins and the start of the collection routes.

Citizens shall collect their packaging materials separately from the other household waste; they shall store them in the blue recycling bags, which have been distributed door-to-door, and then dispose of them in the blue recycling bins. The waste in the blue bins is collected under the responsibility of the cooperating OTAs. The recommended collection frequency of each bin is 2 to 3 times a week. Where bins located in commercial areas, there may be a daily need for collection. Then, the collection vehicles go to the MRF where their content is weighed, and the recyclable materials are emptied in order to be sorted into individual secondary packaging materials (e.g., paper/cardboard, PET, HDPE, mixed plastics, PE film, glass, iron and aluminium), and where possible, other non-packaging recyclable materials, such as printed materials, and materials accidentally disposed of in the blue bins (e.g., small electrical appliances, etc.). Then, the separated packaging materials are baled (except for glass and usually iron) and sold to licensed recyclers. A residue is derived from the sorting process, consisting of waste that is either not target material and therefore was incorrectly placed in the blue bin by the residents, or its volume is too small and it is technically impossible or highly unprofitable to be sorted on the conveyor belt. The cooperating OTAs are responsible for managing their corresponding residue.

Blue Bins & Bells Per Region

Discover the results of HERRCO's activities per Region.