Waste levels are decreasing in Porto area: the population produces less garbage and recycles more

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In 2020, Lipor received over 60 thousand tons of material to recycle and 40 thousand tons of selectively collected biowaste and found that there is a reduction in the overall waste production. The pandemic accounts for one of the factors, but much is due to the awareness of residents where Lipor operates.

The 8% growth in the volume of materials placed in ecopoints, recycling yards and door-to door selective collection of garbage – mostly paper/card, plastic and glass – are the “result of the strong investment and bet by Lipor and the associate municipalities to maximize the amount of materials to send to recycling”, stated the inter municipal company.

In February, Lipor had already announced that it had been possible to reuse over 13 thousand tons of materials, thus preventing the emission of almost three thousand tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This is in line with data by Porto Ambiente, which revealed an increase of 50% of the recycling levels in the Municipality of Porto between 2016 and 2019.

Another parameter highlighted by Lipor regards the 12.7% decrease of selectively collected biowaste in 2020, which the company explains is due “to the partial or complete closure of catering activities throughout the year, amid the ongoing pandemic”.

The collection of green waste has accelerated in the district of Porto ever since the municipal company Porto Ambiente extended the initiative to entities that produce this type of surplus amount; as a result, there are now 100 available bins in more than 27 of those entities. It should be mentioned the approved projects for the installation of circa 500 proximity bins for organic waste collection, a measure that will cover more than half of the population in Porto.

Overall, 2020 was a year that showed a visible decrease in garbage production; Lipor registered 394 thousand tons of collected garbage in its operation area, which includes Porto, Espinho, Gondomar, Maia, Matosinhos, Póvoa de Varzim, Valongo and Vila do Conde. This shows a decrease of waste production of 1, 94% versus the same period the previous year. This material was not sent to a landfill site; instead it was reclaimed at the company’s energy conversion power plant, which in turn enabled that over 171 MWh of electric power was exported to the national grid.