From the 24th to the 26th of October 2023, more than 200 on-site and on-line participants from 23 countries of the Mediterranean region and beyond, followed an important event that took place in Cagliari, Sardinia, to exchange know-how, experiences and lessons-learned regarding organic waste management gained by two major EU-funded projects: Med4Waste and Water and Environment Support (WES) in the ENI Neighbourhood South Region. MIO-ECSDE is a key partner in both projects, which support the implementation of the UfM’s 2030GreenerMed Agenda, while the event also constituted the Final Capitalisation meeting of the Med4Waste project.

The event was very successful in fostering a collaborative environment, vibrant exchanges and the showcasing of good practices to achieve sustainable and applicable in the region organic waste management systems.

The 3-day event constituted the epilogue of the ENI CBC MED funded project, Med4Waste, featuring its key findings, recommendations and innovative solutions, that are transferable to various municipalities and different contexts within the Mediterranean region. It was also one of the many regional study visits that the WES project has organized, which is well into its fourth year of implementing more than 50 capacity building activities for stakeholders from the MENA countries.

The event was inaugurated by Marco Pocu, Councilor for Environmental Protection of the Sardinia Region who welcomed the policy makers (ministry officials), local authorities, private sector, NGOs and researchers who gathered for the joint event and highlighted that the host region has a lot to show for itself: from Italy’s worst performing region in waste management in the 00s to one of the best performing islands in the Mediterranean, specifically in regards to separate collection of organic waste.

Alessandra Sensi, Head of Sector, Environment and Blue Economy, Union for the Mediterranean, in her opening remarks stressed the importance of such regional meetings for the green transition of the waste sector in the Mediterranean while acknowledging the support of both projects to the implementation of the UfM’s 2030GreenerMed Agenda. Silvia Zedda, Head of the Authorizing Unit, Managing Authority of ENI CBC MED Programme, highlighted the exemplary outcomes of the Med4Waste project and its capitalization and synergizing efforts to promote better waste management governance.

With a very rich 3-day agenda of presentations, workshops and site visits, the event offered the participants the opportunity to be updated on the EU and Mediterranean policy context on waste management and circular economy, the Med4Waste outputs, such as the Med4Waste Online Course to support waste management practitioners in learning more about Circular Economy and Zero Waste Strategies and a Catalogue of good and successful practices on waste management with experiences from other ENI CBC MED projects, the Sardinian experience up close (including fiscal incentives, infrastructure development, green public procurement), and insights from numerous Mediterranean practices and case studies for replication on decentralised organic waste management.

A truly rewarding experience for the onsite trainees were the 3 site visits that took place, during which they were able to directly interact with the local policymakers, entrepreneurs and community members and exchange valuable know-how and experiences. The visited sites were: the Arborea municipal solid waste sorting and treatment plant; the Esposito Group’s Ecocenter that processes beach waste (particularly Posidonia), recovers every single grain of sand and returns it to the beach of origin, while recovering the organic fraction present and making it suitable for re-use in agriculture or green building; and a Municipal Collection Center in Cagliari, Ecocentro Sant’Elia, a Municipal Collection Center in Calgiari that complements the city’s door-to-door scheme that is in place and aims to increase separate waste collection and promote environmental awareness

Overall, the event was acknowledged as a well-designed opportunity that enabled dialogue and enrichment of knowledge on the prerequisites for effective organic waste management that will inspire tailor-made priority policy measures and implementation plans for tuly effective practices at the local, national and Mediterranean-wide levels.

The agenda and presentations of the event can be accessed directly below.

Read in French here.