Did you know that in Catalonia we only recycle 36.86% of the municipal waste we generate?
This figure has hardly changed since 2011 and is a long way from European objectives: by 2020 we have to recycle 50% and by 2030, the figure is 60-70 %.
The Maresme is one of the few territories with zero landfill in Catalonia, thanks to the Consortium for Municipal Solid Waste Treatment plant, which treats the waste that hasn’t been selectively collected and converts the rejected material into energy.
Despite this, there is still so much more to be done. You probably know that the general public pay for waste management through our taxes, but do you know the breakdown of those costs? And the fact that what we pay doesn’t currently cover all of those costs?
If you recycle, you are directly contributing to your family’s economy, because recycling correctly is subsidised. Put simply, if you recycle properly, your taxes are reduced.
What happens if we throw rubbish into the grey bin? It’s really the same as throwing our money away. This waste goes to the recovery plant where it has to be separated, which means a double cost: for our pockets (waste management in Catalonia equals 6% of the Catalan GDP), and also for the environment.
In 2016 in Catalonia, of a total 3,727,634 tonnes of municipal waste generated, 39.28% ended up in landfill. The expected European objective for 2030 is between 5% and 10%, so there’s a long way to go. What is more, landfill sites emit methane, which is 25 times more potent than CO2 in terms of environmental warming, and is therefore one of the biggest climate change problems.
For all these reasons, the next time you see a grey bin, visualise a broken piggy bank, through which we not only all lose money, but also spoil the environment.
Recycling has the exact opposite effect – we save money, and at the same time protect the environment. And let’s not forget that recycling, like saving, begins at home.