Universiteit Leiden

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Waste Collection Systems Assessed and Good Practices Identified (COLLECTORS)

What is the environmental impact of different waste collection systems across Europe? How can the collection be improved when considering collection, sorting, and treatment, as well as use options for secondary materials?

2017 - 2020
Bernhard Steubing
European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme

COLLECTORS is a cooperation between universities, NGO’s and the private sector.

Short abstract

Five tonnes of waste per capita are generated every year in the EU. These annual 2.5 billion tonnes of waste contain large volumes of valuable materials for Europe’s industrial base. Proper collection of waste is a pre-condition for their optimal recovery. The current trend of increasing higher collection rates is promising, but progress is uneven between Members States and between regions.

Good regional practices have the potential to serve as good practice examples for other regions. So far, however, results of existing studies and good practices have not been effective enough in supporting the implementation of better-performing systems elsewhere. The main objective of the COLLECTORS project is to overcome this situation and to support decisionmakers in shifting to better-performing collection system.

Project description


(1) Increase awareness of the collection potential by compiling, harmonizing and presenting information on systems for packaging and paper waste, WEEE and construction products via an online information platform. (2) Improve decision-making on waste collection by the assessment of twelve good practices on their performance on: (1) quality of collected waste; (2) economics; (3) environment; (4) societal acceptance. (3) Stimulate successful implementation by capacity-building and policy support methods that will increase the technical and operational expertise of decision-makers on waste collection. (4) Engage citizens, decision-makers and other stakeholders throughout the project for validation of project results and to ensure the usability of COLLECTORS-output.

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