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Door-to-door collections key for Portugal

Portugal – According to Empresa Geral do Fomento (EGF), the state-owned utility that dominates Portugal’s waste management sector, domestic waste volumes have dropped by more than 10% over the last two years. This decline prompted EGF’s overall revenue to fall by Euro 12 million last year, leading it to reduce electricity production at its Lisbon waste-to-energy incinerator. Lower volumes have created supply problems for recycling companies, confirms the Lipor group. The waste-to-energy player has experienced a 20% decline in recycling activity since 2010 as well as a 5.2% dip in revenues last year. Meanwhile, Portugal’€™s recycling industry claims the country’€™s continuing recession has led to a surge in organised thefts of paper and cardboard from recycling drop-off points – known as ‘€˜eco-puntos’€™.

EGF notes that one of its companies, Valnor, experienced an increase in its revenues from Euro 10.3 million in 2011 to a little over Euro 11 million the following year. According to EGF, this is partly because it operates better waste separation technology that allows it to recycle 24 kg of plastics per inhabitant per year compared to a national average of 4 kg.

EGF and Lipor believe that improving door-to-door collections of recyclables will improve the economic stability of Portugal’€™s recycling sector. Therefore, EGF intends to expand its Lisbon collection scheme to cover 60% of the city’€™s population by the end of the year.

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Source: ENDS Europe

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