Improvement of waste management
Topic of the practice
The use of a wood shredder to convert organic, agricultural waste into material suitable for surfacing local footpaths.
Good Practice Information
The Municipality of Kouklia council have made sustainability a standing agenda item on their agenda. Indeed, already more than 50% of their energy production is from renewable resources, compared to the overall EU Member State target of 20% by the year 2020. During an inter-regional visit in the Netherlands entitled ‘’Opportunities for new member states”, the partners were shown Dutch footpaths and cycle tracks made from local, natural products – in this case sea-shells – instead of asphalt. The Kouklia President (who attends all meetings) discussed whether their green, organic, agricultural waste viz. trimmings could be used as an alternative viable footpath surface. Following a positive response and recognising, also, their need to improve their waste management policy, the community invested €20000 in a wood-shredder earlier this year. After several months of operation, the shredder is producing ca. 4t/hr of shredded material.
This amounts to ca. 20t/day as it is only operated for about 6 hrs. It is also used only 2 days per week and so is producing 40t/month of material. This is already within the target set by the community at the onset of 300t/yr. The material is being used successfully on public footpaths, saving money on the purchase and upkeep of the traditional clay pathways. Furthermore, a surplus of material is being produced which is being used as a mulch for trees in public areas which is cutting down their water usage since less water is evaporating from the soil.
Evidence of success
Work started in April 2011 and is continuing. Key success factors were discussions with the agriculturalists as to the (financial) benefits accruing, specific trainings and on-the-job experience of working with the machinery. So far 2 km of road have been re-surfaced. Economically, previous landfill costs of ca €700/month are saved therefore the wood-shredder will have paid for itself in 2 ½ years. Dust contamination from the previous clay roads has diminished and oil is no longer applied to prevent dust rising. Excess shreddings are used as mulch to cut down water evaporation around tree groves. The community now considering other organic waste management schemes e.g. for domestic waste to convert waste into usable, agricultural compost. Furthermore, other councils are looking into using the technique. This method can be transferred to other localities with materials appropriate to their situation. The good practice has now been transferred as policy at a Nov. meeting of the council.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Kouklia Community Council
Annex completed on: 09-16-2011