The Hellenic Recovery Recycling Corporation (HERRCO S.A.) was founded in December 2001 by industrial and commercial enterprises which, either supply packaged products to the Greek market, or manufacture different packaging items. In addition, the Central Union of Municipalities in Greece (KEDE) has a shareholding of 35% in the System’s capital. In compliance with the provisions of Law 2939/01 and in seeking to fulfill the obligations of packaging operators in an effective and cost-efficient way, HERRCO has developed and implemented the Collective Alternative Management System – “RECYCLING” (C.A.M.S. – RECYCLING) contributing significantly to the achievement of the national objectives. HERRCO’s recycling system collects packaging waste from paper, plastic, glass, aluminium and tinplate. The collected stream is then transported to the Sorting Centers, where the recyclable materials are separated and forwarded for recycling.
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HERRCO’s operation is based on a set of fundamental principles ensuring the attainment of its goals and based on European practices. They are summarized in the following points:
- The contractual participation of packers and fillers is carried out subject to the same terms, regardless of whether they are shareholders or not.
- The possibility of acquiring a shareholding in the share capital is open to all operators, subject to the same terms with existing shareholders.
- The objective of HERRCO is not to achieve a positive financial outcome (not –for-profit company), but rather to utilize the financial resources allocated for the optimal recovery of packaging waste. It is for this reason that there is no provision for a dividend distribution to HERRCO’s shareholders.
- The activities of the System which aim at the recovery of packaging waste from municipal waste are developed in close partnership with Local Authorities, as set out in the legal framework.
All packaging materials used by participating companies are treated in an equitable manner.
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HERRCO develops and implements specialized communication programs aiming to create awareness and motivate citizens in order to participate in Packaging Recycling by applying appropriate procedures:
- Distribution of information package to all households in the areas where the recycling project is being developed, including: the standard recycling bag, a special leaflet with useful information regarding Packaging Recycling and a letter from each Mayor to the residents of his or her Municipality.
- Distribution of info-material to the personnel of the Companies affiliated with HERRCO. In some of them special events and seminars about recycling are organized as well
- Promotional Activities in supermarkets, cosmetic stores, toy stores, department stores, commercial stores, restaurants, cafes, bars, beaches
- Outdoor advertising campaigns
- Moving Media Campaigns through the branding of the back-end of buses
- Advertisements and other Informative publications in newspapers and magazines based in Athens and throughout Greece as well as in the local Press and in municipal journals.
Issuing an electronic newsletter setting out the recent actions of HERRCO so that the Mass Media and the partners of HERRCO from the fields of Local Authorities, the State and the packaging operators can be informed on a regular basis.
Circular economy for Sustainable Development Olympia Forum II
Through a cycle of opinion presentations on the importance of circular economy and sustainable development, he analysed HERRCO’s significant contribution in packaging recycling which covers 96% of the national goal, which in numbers translates as: 490,000 tons out of the total of 511,000. Among other things, he referred to the importance of the social and environmental impact of HERRCO’s overall work. By way of example, on an annual basis, through the blue bin activity, a volume equivalent to 18 football pitches 10 metres high is saved from the country’s sanitary landfills, emissions equivalent to 1.44 million tons of carbon dioxide are saved, electricity equal to the annual consumption of 870,000 households is saved, while more than 5,000 jobs are indirectly and directly maintained.
You can watch the entire video with his speech in the following link at 14:40”
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Methods of Cooperation with Local Authorities
Local Authorities (OTAs) – or other competent municipal bodies – and HERRCO sign collaboration agreements aimed at more efficient organization and management of packaging waste recycling, in accordance with Law 2939/01, as replaced by Law 4819/2021. The cooperation framework between OTAs and HERRCO includes two alternative modes of cooperation.
Planning and Operation
The Blue Bin projects relate to the most important and difficult part of waste: municipal waste. They are addressed to the general public and are developed in cooperation with the Local Authorities, as provided for by the institutional framework. HERRCO continuously promotes the further development of the Blue Bins network.
The project planning is based on the population of the OTA to be included, according to the 2011 census (Hellenic Statistical Authority data). The equipment supplied to the OTAs shall include:
• Reusable recycling bags of a number equivalent to the number of the households of the OTA concerned.
• Adequate number of blue bins to fully meet the needs of the Municipality by applying the ratio of 1 bin per 75 residents.
• One (1) 15-16-ton collection vehicle (CV) for a network of at least 250 bins (corresponding to approximately 20 thousand residents) and one extra CV performing two trips to the MRF daily (or to the transhipment station) or operating 16 hours daily.