This is the executive summary of the “Circular Economy Action Plan of the Municipality of Kozani”.
The aim of this CEAP is the mapping of sustainable interventions for the promotion of Circular Economy and the synthesis of circular applications, which will bring economic, social and environmental benefits.
The planned interventions are expected to contribute to:
- the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)
- the achievement of environmental goals
- the job loss prevention, the job creation and local added value
- the strengthening of green entrepreneurship and the promotion of innovation
The Circular Economy Action Plan is in agreement and acts in cooperation with:
- The Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP) of the Municipality of Kozani
- The Business Plan for the Sustainable Urban Development Strategy 2017 – 2023
- The Strategic plan “Kozani – Smart City” (2020)
- The Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) of the Municipality of Kozani (2019)
The proposed interventions will maximize synergies both within the Circular Economy Action Plan and with other action plans and initiatives of the Municipality of Kozani.
The vision of the Municipality of Kozani is:
To be a pioneer municipality in the adoption of circular economy practices in Greece as well as in their promotion in social and economic level, by shaping new circular economy patterns and governance practices at the local Government level
To utilize the circular economy practices and the related funding to create new jobs that will offset part of the de-lignification losses
To act as a catalyst for the circular economy throughout Northern Greece, with particular emphasis on the development of innovation structures and practices that will create long-term comparative advantages for the Municipality and its residents
The CEAP includes a coherent set of actions structured in the following 9 pillars:
PILLAR 1: REGULATORY AND LEGISLATIVE ARRANGEMENTS
The proposed actions of this pillar concern proposals for interventions in legislative gaps or distortions that decelerate the promotion of circular economy and industrial symbiosis, as well as proposals for defining financial tools for the promotion of circular economy. The implementation of the proposals concerns direct structural actions to be taken by the central government.
By filling the legislation gaps on circular economy and industrial symbiosis the following will be achieved:
- sustainable resource management through rational waste management and
- strengthening of circular entrepreneurship and circular consumption through
the purchase’s promotion of secondary materials
PILLAR 2: TRANSPORTATION & VEHICLE FLEET MANAGEMENT
A total of four (4) different actions (budget € 5.500.000,00) to be implemented over a 6-year horizon mainly concern:
- The modernization of the waste collection fleet through the purchase of natural gas, dual fuel (natural gas and gasoline) or hybrid vehicles (electricity and gasoline)
- The installation of fleet control and management systems to the waste collection fleet and other collection / transportation vehicles (e.g. vehicles for recycling of solid wastes)
- The promotion of alternative fuels and electromobility throughout the municipal fleet
- Expansion of the railway network along the Egnatia highway and intermodal connection with the Circular economy park and the industrial area
The expected results from the above actions are the municipality’s environmental footprint reduction, the improvement of citizens’ life quality, the reduction of the investment and operating cost of the municipality fleet, as well as noise and traffic problems reduction.
PILLAR 3: SOLID AND LIQUID WASTE MANAGEMENT, CLEANING & GREEN
A total of thirty-two (32) different actions (budget 13.500.000,00 €) to be implemented over a 4-year horizon are scheduled. According to their content and ultimate goal, the actions are divided into the following distinct categories:
- Large-scale consumer and business awareness campaigns to prevent waste generation
- Large-scale awareness campaigns and training of employees of the catering and other related sectors in the implementation of circular economy practices to reduce food waste
- Promotion and financing of programs, tools and actions for waste prevention
- Enhancement of sorting at source and reciprocal recycling systems
- Utilization of recyclable materials
- Management and utilization of agricultural waste
- Separate collection and management of plastic pesticide packaging
- Development of management activities for small amounts of hazardous waste
- Development of management activities for construction, excavation and demolition waste
- Liquid waste management and reuse
The Municipality of Kozani envisions to achieve for the coming years in the field of waste management (a) continuous improvement of solid waste management and recycling services (b) systematic control and reduction of management costs. It is essentially the implementation of the circular economy at the level of municipal solid and liquid waste management, while creating significant environmental and social benefits (jobs).
PILLAR 4: STRENGTHENING AND PROMOTING CIRCULAR ENTREPRENEURSHIP
In this context, seven (7) actions are proposed (budget 12.000.000,00 €) over a 6-year horizon.
The proposed actions are oriented towards the support of small and medium enterprises in the new economic model, promoting the idea of circular economy and technological solutions. Actions include:
- The creation of an organization structure for circular economy and industrial symbiosis in the Municipality of Kozani
- Awareness campaigns and participation in the training and education of employees and business executives
- Development of information platforms for the promotion of industrial symbiosis related to materials’ exchange in the supply chain, the disposal of by-products and waste
- Creation of a circular economy park
- Support and enhance the development of synergies between companies in the local market
The results from the implementation of these actions are expected to be the strengthening of entrepreneurship and the support of the local community. Enterprises’ technical and consulting support and guidance will contribute to the improvement of their management and productivity in the context of circular economy.
PILLAR 5: CIRCULAR CONSUMPTION
Circular consumption refers to the supply of goods, the construction of projects and the provision of services that contribute to closed cycles of energy and materials within the supply chains, while minimizing and/or avoiding the negative environmental consequences and the generation of waste throughout their life cycles.
Authorities and entities are the largest buyers of goods and services. Therefore, public procurement is a powerful tool for implementing environmental, social and economic policies.
The Municipality of Kozani, through green public procurement agreements can promote the supply and use of recycled materials against raw materials or materials with increased environmental footprint, providing incentives for the development of green products and services and therefore the development of new business models and initiatives.
PILLAR 6: INNOVATION
The Municipality of Kozani with the aim of developing circular economy, strengthening research and social innovation and the connection of small and medium entrepreneurship and social economy with technological innovation and development included in the CEAP six (6) innovative business actions (budget 110.000.000,00 €) over a 6-year horizon related to:
- The construction & operation of a circular economy park that will host infrastructure for recycling and energy recovery
- The creation of a certification and quality control center for circular economy products
- The creation of a production, development and promotion unit to commercialize innovative ideas related to circular economy in specific industries and activities and for specific problems
- The development of forests with timber trees in municipal and public areas and their use in the wood industry and tourism
The expected results of the above actions are estimated to be the creation of start-ups, new jobs, the growth potential of the region and the attraction of new scientists and researchers.
PILLAR 7: AGRICULTURAL FACILITIES & CROPS
The Municipality of Kozani in collaboration with local authorities and private entities aims at the alternative management of agricultural and forest waste, by creating new development opportunities for the local community, while reducing its carbon footprint.
This pillar includes (2) actions (budget 350.000, 00 €) over a 6-year horizon related to:
- The management & economic utilization of waste from agriculture, forestry, etc. with the participation of animal feed producers, recovery of inorganic and organic compounds, production of materials (packed and not), substrate for the production of adsorbents, production of construction materials
- The replacement of the existing municipal irrigation networks in the areas of high productivity of its territorial region with “smart” irrigation networks
The expected results of the implementation of these actions are the creation of new economic opportunities, the improvement of governance in rural areas and the development of cooperative formations and agreements between public and private entities, the improvement of production – qualitatively and quantitatively – and consequently the improvement of the produced product competitiveness in the domestic and international markets, the quantitative and qualitative protection of the regional natural resources.
PILLAR 8: TECHNOLOGY AND INFORMATION ACTIONS
For the purposes of raising awareness & stimulating citizens’ participation in issues related to circular economy, a citizens’ communication/awareness plan will be designed and implemented by the municipality. All actions should be evaluated and implemented in combination, in order to achieve the best result, since each social group has its own characteristics, which should be taken into account before selecting the individual actions to be implemented.
For the implementation of the municipality’s information campaign, five (5) targeted actions are foreseen (budget € 1.350.000,00) over a 5-year horizon that focus on the municipal financing of circular economy programs that will be addressed to students of primary and secondary education, citizens, the retraining of the regional workforce and courses’ adaptation of postgraduate programs, universities and technical schools in the direction of circular economy.
The implementation of the actions above will lead to the active participation of citizens, pupils and students in issues related to the environment and the concepts of the circular economy, the retraining of the local workforce in new areas such as RES, energy efficiency, environmental rehabilitation and waste management as well as other industrial sectors related to the new investments, the connection of academic research with the economy, the integration of new knowledge and innovation and the attraction of new scientific potential.
PILLAR 9: BUILDING STOCK & INFRASTRUCTURE
The management of the existing technical and social infrastructures, as well as the management of the municipal assets, is possible to be carried out in terms of circular economy.
For the implementation of the action, it is proposed to develop an information database, in which data of the municipality’s building stock will be recorded and managed.
The benefits of the circular management of the municipal building stock and infrastructures are the improvement of the use, the better management and maintenance of the municipal assets, the cost savings, the utilization of existing infrastructure and buildings and the value maximization of materials and resources.
The evaluation of the proposed actions shows the following:
- Actions related to the new type of entrepreneurship, innovation and the industrial symbiosis receive the highest score
- The interconnection of business units and the creation of local markets for secondary materials and products are preconditions and at the same time results of the turn to circular economy
- Actions with immediate benefits are those that extend discrete management of materials and streams that either do not exist or exist in the early stage in the region at the moment
- The circular economy park is a link among most of the pillars
Through the evaluation, the most appropriate actions that can be implemented directly as pilots in the Municipality of Kozani emerged and are shown below:
- the pilot program “Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT)”
- the pilot operation of Sorting Material Centres in Kozani
- the pilot development of forests with timber trees in municipal and public spaces and their use in tourism and the wood industry