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Empowering Our Communities To Redesign

Ljubljana; first EU capital to adopt a Zero Waste strategy

The Slovenian capital and three other municipalities, Vrhnika, Borovnica and Log Dragomer join the European network of Zero Waste municipalities

September 8, 2014


The mayor of Ljubljana, Mr. Zoran Janković announced today the commitment of his city to move towards Zero Waste.

In a press conference which took place in the Town Hall of the Slovenian capital the mayor of Ljubljana together with the mayor of Vrhnika, Stojan Jakin, the president of Zero Waste Europe, Rossano Ercolini and the chair of the Scientific Committee of ZWE, Enzo Favoino, confirmed the adhesion of Ljubljana and three other municipalities to the European network of Zero Waste communities. With this move Ljubljana becomes the first capital in the EU to adopt the Zero Waste goal.

Currently, Ljubljana is already the EU capital with best performance regarding waste separation and waste avoidance; it separately collects 60 % of municipal waste and generates less than 150kg of residual waste –what is not recycled or composted- per person yearly. Until 2025 they commit to increase separate collection to 78 % and decrease the amount of residual waste to 60 kg per person per year. With this commitment for zero waste, Ljubljana officially rules out building any incinerator in order to have the flexibility to continue reducing the non-recyclable waste and push for prevention and recycling.

Mr Janković, Mayor of Ljubljana said “In August residents of Ljubljana separately collected over 60% of their waste. They adopted responsible waste management as their own project. I am therefore specially proud that today Ljubljana became the first European Zero Waste capital.”

“Zero Waste Europe welcomes Ljubljana as the 1st Eu capital to go for Zero Waste, surely it won’t be the last one.” Said Rossano Ercolini, President of Zero Waste Europe.
Ercolini emphasized that “What matters is the commitment to continuously reduce waste generation and increase recycling whilst including participation of residents and civil society in efficient use of resources.”

Ljubljana first ZW capital
Photo by Katka Sreš


The other Slovenian towns to join the network of Zero Waste municipalities are Vrhnika, Borovnica and Log Dragomer. Today they collect and recycle over 76 % of its waste and on the average each resident creates 80 kg of residuals per year. By 2020, those municipalities will increase separate collection to 80 % and decrease residuals to 70 kg per person per year. To read the case study of Vhrnika click here.

Erika Oblak, coordinator of Zero Waste Slovenia said “No reuse or recycling system will be successful without the participation of the residents. Today we celebrate with all who separately collect our waste and those who support sharing our resources with future generations”.

On September 9, a conference will take place in the National Council of Slovenia –low chamber of the national parliament- to present the best practices from Zero Waste Europe and discuss the plans for zero waste implementation in Slovenia. The event is already fully booked, to follow up the results stay tuned to our twitter and newsletter.

Joan Marc Simon – Zero Waste Europe
+34 646408963
Erika Oblak – Zero Waste Slovenia
+386 31305726

Press Release: New Case Studies show Zero Waste success in Europe
Press Release in response to the Circular economy Package

Zero Waste Europe was created to empower communities to rethink their relationship with resources. In a growing number of regions, local groups of individuals, businesses and city officials are taking significant steps towards eliminating waste in our society. Read more about us here.

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Press Release: New Case Studies Show ‘Zero Waste’ Success in Europe


Case study #1
Case study #

Zero Waste Europe publishes today three new case studies (a second edition and two brand new cases) showing that the successful development and implementation of zero waste strategies in Europe is already taking place and is set to inspire further communities, towns and cities to transform our relationship with resources and adopt zero waste goals.

The cases studies focus on Capannori (Italy), Argentona (Catalonia, Spain) and Vhrnika (Slovenia), and review the stories of their successes to date, providing an analysis of the key elements that allowed such impressive transition. Today, these case studies show that, in contrast with the outdated idea of burning or burying our waste, preventing, reusing and recycling it create jobs and resilience, save money, and protect the environment and public health.

Argentona first page
Case Study #2


Moreover, these Zero Waste efforts go hand-in-hand with clean production, producer responsibility, and waste minimization programs for dangerous and hard-to-recycle materials. Together, these practical, bottom-up strategies provide some of the best decentralized urban solutions for reducing climate pollution and conserving energy and natural resources.

Some of the highlights of these case studies are:

–       The Italian town of Capannori was the first town in Europe that committed to a Zero Waste goal. It has managed to reach 82% of separately collected municipal solid waste (MSW) and a 39% reduction between 2006 and 2011.

–       When the Catalan town of Argentona introduced its door-to-door collection system in 2004, it more than doubled its recycling rates and became a reference in Catalonia for separate collection and pay-as-you-throw.

–       Vhrnika in Slovenia, has leapfrogged the recycling rates of many better-established programmes around Europe, reaching 76.17% separate collection of municipal solid waste (MSW) and aiming to reach 82% in the next 5 years.

Vhrnika First page
Case Study #3


Mariel Vilella, Zero Waste Europe’s Associate Director and Editor of the case studies said: “These innovative practitioners are showing that zero waste is a feasible strategy whose day has come. With their own local particularities, the three best practices are good examples of how strong policy decisions combined with community empowerment and participation can achieve groundbreaking results.”

Joan Marc Simon, Executive Director with Zero Waste Europe added, “At the policy level, these case studies show the feasibility of the proposals for a Circular Economy as presented by the European Commission in July 2014. Actually, the results offered by the network of zero waste municipalities prove that it is possible to aim even higher.”

Erika Oblak, head of Zero Waste Slovenija program at the Ecologists Without Borders Association said: “Vrhnika proves that Slovenian municipalities are able to achieve important results diverting resources in waste to material recovery. In addition to Vrhnika, three other municipalities set their Zero Waste goals and the interest for this concept in Slovenia is increasing.

Joan Pujol on behalf of the Catalan Zero Waste Strategy highlighted that “the experience of Argentona shows that measures such as door to door collection can reduce the generation of waste, the incineration rates and all the related climate pollution; instead, it increases levels of recycling, generates local jobs and saves costs in comparison to the collection system with containers.

Download the case studies here.

Please note that the case studies have been translated into several languages.





Mariel Vilella

skype: mariel_vc

+44 07847079154


Press Release of Zero Waste Europe in response to the Circular economy Package:

Zero Waste Europe was created to empower communities to rethink their relationship with resources. In a growing number of regions, local groups of individuals, businesses and city officials are taking significant steps towards eliminating waste in our society. Read more about us here.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Follow us in FacebookTwitter and Linkedin

Visit our Youtube channel