Academic journal article European Journal of Sustainable Development

Municipal Waste Map: A Case Study of Guimaräes, Portugal

Academic journal article European Journal of Sustainable Development

Municipal Waste Map: A Case Study of Guimaräes, Portugal

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Guimaräes, is a city and municipality located in northern Portugal, in the district of Braga. It is also a part of the Ave Subregion (one of the most industrialised subregions in the Portugal), as well as the historical Minho Province. is a middle size town with 158000 inhabitants, which historic centre belongs to UNESCO World Heritage (figure 1). According to 2011 Census, Guimaräes has 158 124 inhabitants distributed by 240.955 Km2. In terms of administrative organization, the territory has 48 parishes, with a group of 17 medium size agglomerations, and 31 that can be considered to be small size. The city was also European Cultural Capital by 2012 and European City of Sports in 2013. Guimaräes was elected by the New York Times one of the 41 places to go in 2011 and NYT called it one of the Iberian peninsula's emerging cultural spots. Currently, is running for European Green Capital 2020 award and therefore aiming at defining a sustainable strategic plan foreseeing city development. According to Zotos et. al (2008), local authorities play an important role in supporting changes towards sustainable development, being responsible for the infrastructure development, public involvement, education and social welfare promotion. The European Commission defined 12 important areas for sustainable development [2] being Waste Production and Management one of them.

In the new legislation framework enacted by the European Union (EU), the characterization of municipal solid waste (MSW) represents an important instrument for local governments and sanitation operators in setting and achieving targets for waste recycling and recovery. Taking into account the EU policy on waste management (EU Waste Framework Directive, 2008/98/EC) and the city goals towards a "greener" and sustainable territory, several measures are planned for Municipal Waste Management (MWM) improvement, including waste reduction, collection and transfer, composting, incineration, landfills, special wastes, waste characterization, management and planning, training, public education and financing. These actions will be enclosed on the Strategic Waste Plan (SWP) for Guimaräes (2016-2025), in close relation to city context and scenarios (Sahimaa et. al (2008)). According to Di Maria and Micale (2014), the identification of local factors such as social, technical, economic and environmental aspects, should be integrated, for a coherent and sustainable waste management program. Guimaräes is considered to be a "diffuse territory", as it encompasses land use and economic activity development, leading to different scenarios. Three types of land use can be identified as follows, agriculture; forest area and infrastructures implementation for industrial activities (textile, footwear and cutleries). An intense agricultural practice, strongly related to soil characteristics and water lines location, can be found. It is also important to notice that 1/3 of the Guimaräes population is located on the urban area, where most of the services and equipment are implemented, while the remaining 2/3 is placed outside the central agglomeration, an area registered for both, industrial activity and agricultural practices.

According to Suthar and Singh (2014), a holistic approach is required, comprising waste production characterization, land use, citizens' socio demographic aspects and human resources. Taking Guimaräes as reference, it is considered that waste production across the Municipality will be directly affected by certain characteristics, such as the buying capacity, the rural vs. industrial waste provenience, and the citizens' socio-demographic, their attitudes and behaviors, among others.

The main objective of this paper is to determine the first step of the SWP, consisting in identifying the household waste (HW), resulting from the principal circuits of the regular waste routes. As result, a first draft of the Municipal Waste Map will be presented, in the form of an integrated Roadmap of waste production, in a multi-disciplinary approach between the land use and the socio-demographic characteristics. …

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