NAME OF BEST PRACTICE:
SIGUREC – Smart Recyclable Waste Machines (Green Group)
Contact: Georgiana Badalica-Petrescu (Brand and Design Expert)
Phone: +40 754229426
Web: http://www.green-group.ro / http://www.sigurec.ro/
WHERE: Romania, Serbia, Macedonia and Taiwan
WHEN: 2013 – present (ongoing)
WASTE MANAGEMENT HIERARCHY: Collection, Treatment and Recycling
TYPE OF INSTRUMENT: Education, information, awareness raising; Voluntary / promotional
WASTE STREAMS: Packaging waste, Waste electrical and electronic equipment, Vegetable Oil, Cardboard, Plastics, Other metals, Paper, Batteries
About: SIGUREC is the most advanced recyclable waste collecting service currently operating in Ro-mania and has 3 collecting solutions.
1. The classic recycling system used by SIGUREC is called SIGUREC PRIME, dedicated to popu-lation and located in high-traffic shopping areas, mainly near hypermarkets’ locations. People can use them to dispose of households’ recycling waste, consisting in: PET bottles, Glass bottles, Aluminum cans o In addition, other waste types can be brought to recycling machines, Low and high density polyethylene recipients, Paper, Cardboard, Batteries, WEEE, Lamps and lightning equipment waste, Expanded polystyrene resulted from packaging (non-food sector), Used Vegetable oil
2. For quantities exceeding 10 kg, a mobile application is available: Mobile collection service. The SIGUREC MOBIL vehicles collect the same types of waste as the SIGUREC PRIME machines.
3. SIGUREC IN – collecting machines located inside the stores. They can be found in large re-tail stores (CORA, Carrefour). People only have to throw the used packaging into the machine and it will do the rest; also, the person receives a shopping voucher.
4. The SIGUREC IN machines collect PET bottles (for soft drinks, mineral water, or beer), aluminum cans, and also waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) that are worn out or defective, batteries, and light bulbs.
5. SIGUREC PUBLIC – the newest intelligent solution for aluminium cans, PET bottles and glass. Also, batteries and lamps. This station is open 24 h.
6. SIGUREC CITY – recyclable waste collection station, designed to be placed in the neigh-bourhoods, offering cash or the option to sustain a cause by choosing to donate the value of waste. Sigurec City collects the following: PET bottles, Glass bottles, Aluminum cans, In addition, other waste types can be brought to recycling machines, Low and high density polyethylene recipients, Paper, Cardboard, WEEE, Batteries, Lamps, Expanded polystyrene resulted from packaging (non-food sector).
SIGUREC, the first smart recycling system launched in Romania, will turn Romanian cities into European „smart cities” – with a cleaner air, green surroundings and blocks of flats without garbage shoots.
SIGUREC is a broad initiative, implemented in Romania following an official agreement between private companies (the Green Group Holding, the Large Retailers’ Association of Romania (AMRCR), Ecopaper SA, Romcarbon SA, ALRO Slatina) and public authorities – the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, municipalities, and recyclers.
Material resources: installed capacity of recycling over 300,000 tons annually.
Human resources: over 1900 employees
Period of implementation: operational since 2011 as a holding. In 2018, it is expected that a number of 50 SIGUREC machines will be installed in Bucharest, as planned.
ECOPAPER has a production capacity twice as high as in the 1980s, of about 80.000 tons of cardboard per year.
GREENTECH can process about 130.000 tons of PET bottles annually, or about 40% of all packages of this type sold on the market. Practically, it can recycle almost half of all PET bottles that are used in Romania and buy about 90% of all PET packages sold on the recycling market.
GREENGLASS: with a processing capacity of over 110.000 tons of glass, it can recycle all waste glass generated in Bucharest in just one week.
GREENFIBER: is the only producer of synthetic fibers in Romania, with production facilities in Buzau, Urziceni and Iasi. At the same time, the company is the 2nd largest European producer of recycled polyester fibers.
GREENLAMP: even it is the only recycler of used lighting equipment that uses the latest technology to recover mercury, just a tiny proportion of such products are recycled in Romania (about 10%, while 7-8 million fluorescent lamps and high intensity discharge lamps are sold every year).
GREENWEEE: has a processing capacity of 100.000 tons per year, thus recovering valuable material resources and protecting the natural environment. It is also one of the most modern plants of its kind in all of Europe.
Results of collected waste through SIGUREC machines, by the end of 2017:
• Pet – 30.568,71 t
• Aluminium -796.198, 81 kg
• Glass – 7.760,99 t
• Paper – 1.781,65 t
• Others – 8.535,53 t
• DEEE – 9.302,93 t
Urban metabolism relevance
● The practice has been implemented in a broader policy context than the one of the urban waste policy
● The results of the practice make reference to outcomes going beyond waste prevention and management, for example: improving air quality within the city (by reducing the biowaste disposed in landfills, encouraging product sharing solutions etc.), reducing the use of natural resources (by encouraging bulk acquisitions, repair initiatives etc.)
● The practice has been elaborated / implemented / evaluated in connection with various urban material flows and / or analyzed the connection within various urban material flows
● The practice encompasses LCC (life cycle costing) / LCA (life cycle assessment) / S-LCA (social LCA) / PEF (product environmental footprint) approaches. Data origin is clearly mentioned (EU or national databases, Eurostat etc.)
● The practice is contributing to circular economy approaches by enhancing the circularity of materials (via upcycle, remanufacture, resale, repair actions) and / or by aiming to „close the loop” and / or by showing the valorization approaches of the waste
● The practice is enhancing dematerialization
By integrating the operations of all 6 companies, Green Group is able to close the recycling loop and save resources and energy, with installed capacity of recycling over 300.000 tons annually.
Engaged participatory processes
Green Group Holding partners/members:
1. GREENTECH: part of the Green Group holding, Greentech is the group’s specialist unit in recycling plastic packaging. Actually, it is one of the largest companies of its kind in South-Eastern Europe, with recycling facilities in Romania (in Iasi and Buzau), as well as in Serbia, and Macedonia. Greentech also produces PET band out of 100% recycled PET flakes and rPET granules.
In Europe, Greentech is the largest recycler of PET and polyolefin waste.
2. GREENGLASS: the company is a national leader in glass recycling, with the most modern glass recycling factory in Eastern Europe.
3. GREENFIBER INTERNATIONAL: transforms PET flakes into different materials, from synthetic fiber (polyester)
6.GREENLAMP: is operating in Romania since May 2010 and is the only recycler of used lighting equipment that uses the latest technology to recover mercury.
7. GREENWEEE: its plant is the largest and most advanced treatment and recycling facility for this type of waste in Romania.
8. TOTAL WASTE MANAGEMENT: is in charge with the waste collection and logistic, representing the “capillary system” collecting and feeding with more than 30% of the materials consumed by the recycling companies from Green Group.
9. ECOPAPER: with over 150 years history, EcoPaper is currently one of most modern paper recycling plants in Romania, producing corrugated cardboard exclusively by recycling paper and cardboard. The factory was founded in 1852 by merchants from Brasov.
A public-private partnership (between Green Group Holding, the Ministry of the Environment, Ecopaper SA, Romcarbon SA) has been concluded, but joining the agreement is voluntary and open to all companies and institutions that are willing to get involved.
The main objectives of this agreement are:
– 25% increase in the volume of primary packaging waste collected by organizations that are part of the Agreement
– 20% increase in the market share of reusable packaging – both primary and tertiary.
SIGUREC project is one of the tangible results of this Agreement.
The practice uses original or resourceful techniques:
– technological (product/ recycling process)
– organisational based on the cooperation of various departments, with new stakeholders …)
– social (based on new types of engagement, with a clear social focus / impact)
– economic (derived from new types of business models and approaches)
Sustainability and replicability
Since 2016, Abris Capital Partners (investment fund focused on the development of Eastern and Central-Eastern Europe medium-sized enterprises) took over Green Group. Under current shareholder structure, Green Group’s main objectives for the coming years are to strengthen the SIGUREC collection system and expand the integrated recycling fleet.
SIGUREC smart collecting machines and recycling related flows can be successfully implemented all over the world.
In Taiwan (the last country which implemented SIGUREC in 2017), people who collect over 3 bottles to SIGUREC are rewarded with 1 Dollar discount coupon valid in Carrefour hypermarket where the machine is located. SIGUREC is expected to collect over 60 ton of PET bottles, 12 tons of aluminum cans, 300 tons of iron, 720 tons of paper, 6 tons of battery and electronic equipment waste in one year.
- Shopping discounts for the waste brought to SIGUREC machines
- Green prizes offered in periodical competitions
- Using the discount vouchers for donations in favor of social causes
The SIGUREC smart machines have several major advantages over the traditional waste collection systems:
- They collect most types of waste, from plastic packaging (including shopping bags food wrap), paper, aluminum cans, glass, batteries, light bulbs, neon lighting units etc. They can be discarded into SIGUREC machines, which are “digesting” them.
- They are located on the premises and in the parking lots of large retailers like Cora, Auchan or Carrefour, thus being easily accessible. A shopping trip could thus be an opportunity to get rid of recyclable waste. Also, people can call a collection van at their home.
- They are fully automated and thus easy to use. Once waste is discarded into the machine, it will sort, count and weigh the individual pieces.
- The machines award bonuses according to waste types and quantities. The bonuses are shopping vouchers that are redeemable in partner stores.
- Using the SIGUREC machines, people can be sure that waste is going straight to recycling facilities, already sorted and ready to be recycled. The route of waste is strictly controlled, so nothing thrown away will get lost or end up in a polluting landfill.
- Still, rather few people know or use this facility
- Insufficient number of SIGUREC machines (due to their cost)
- The population is not sufficiently informed about the importance of proper waste prevention and management
- Most of the environmental authorities and especially local authorities do not support the collection system by law enforcement