“Public authorities and policy makers continue to pretend that there is not a very serious situation with the management of resources, which could be fostering the circular economy, but end up deposited in landfills or are burned”, said the association, in a statement, regarding the Annual Report on Urban Waste (RARU2021), available on the portal of the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA).

Zero says that “poor calculations and manipulation are not enough to hide the stagnation of recycling” and calls for an urgent change in urban waste management.

In the statement, the association also leaves doubts about the quality of the data provided by the APA regarding the final destination of waste, landfill, energy recovery, material recycling, composting and other valorisations.

And justifies: “The sum of the percentages of final destinations for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021 never reaches 100%, remaining at 97%, 98% and 98%, respectively, a situation that is repeated, but in a still more evident, in the data presented for each SGRU (Urban Waste Management System) for the year 2021”, with the values ​​of final destinations varying between 67% and 102%.

Even more serious, in the opinion of the association, is the insistence on the use of a form of calculation that “continues to manipulate the rate of preparation for reuse and recycling” and that is considered “invalid” by the European Commission.

They state that this rate “artifically” reached 33% last year, “when in reality it was a worrying 21%”.

According to APA data, last year 5.311 million tons of urban waste were produced in Portugal, 1% more than in 2020. The production of urban waste on the continent corresponds to a daily production of 1.40 kilos per inhabitant.

“Although in recent years there has been an increase in the number of infrastructures for selective collection, it has not had the proportional effects on the quantities collected selectively”, says the APA report, according to which, in relation to final destinations, the replacement in landfill was last year 56% of total urban waste.