The climate emergency and the impact of waste at the centre of a new awareness-raising campaign aimed at city residents.

03/03/2020 - 19:03 h

Recycling campaign. In February, Barcelona launched a new sensitisation and awareness-raising campaign aimed at city residents about waste collection and recycling, which this year focuses on the context of the Climate Emergency.

The informative teams will be working in all 73 city neighbourhoods until 31 December 2020.

In February, Barcelona launched a new sensitisation and awareness-raising campaign aimed at city residents about waste collection and recycling, which this year focuses on the context of the Climate Emergency declared by the City Council on 15 January 2020.

The main objectives of the campaign are:

  • To provide information about the challenges inherent in Barcelona’s Climate Emergency Declaration.
  • To raise awareness about the environmental impact of waste and its implications for the economy and health.
  • To promote a change in habits to advance towards Zero Waste.
  • To make city residents co-responsible so that they get involved in reducing waste, separating their household waste correctly and recycling it.

The informative teams will be working in all 73 city neighbourhoods until 31 December this year, Different types of actions will be implemented such as providing relevant local information to answer any queries and to strengthen good practices around waste selection. There will be citizen participation activities geared towards raising awareness about the importance of advancing towards Zero Waste, in addition to talks and workshops in the different city districts. The actions are adapted to the specific problems detected in each neighbourhood.

Waste, one of the cornerstones of the Climate Emergency

The generation and treatment of city’s waste is accountable for approximately 10% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GEH), which contributes to climate change. The emissions generated come from:

  • Waste collection (vehicle emissions, collection routes, collection systems, etc.).
  • Waste treatment (depending on the type of treatment used: controlled dumping in landfills, incineration, composting, energy valuation, material valuation, etc.)

Therefore, improving how municipal waste is managed, including waste generated at a domestic level, is a key issue. The main way in which this improvement can be achieved is through raising the levels of selective waste or, in other words, reducing the amount of waste that reaches landfill sites and valuation plants.

City residents’ commitment to reducing and adequately managing waste

Prior to launching the campaign, the level of citizen knowledge about the Climate Emergency and the role waste plays in the climate crisis was measured.

67% of those surveyed knew what the Climate Emergency Declaration is and when it came into force. 93% agree or totally agree with the measures promoted by Barcelona City Council.

Regarding waste, 60% of those surveyed knew the concept of Zero Waste and 87% are committed to reducing the waste generated and managing it effectively. However, 87% do not believe that selective waste collection can help to mitigate the effects of the climate crisis or to reduce the emissions generated. In other words, there is a lack of knowledge about the link between waste and the Climate Emergency.