In order to keep their little island the pristine Aegean paradise it is, Tilos has gotten rid of their landfill, and replaced it with a circular system that has reduced total waste by 86%.
After being implemented this May, the island of around 750 inhabitants quickly saw progress, after they transformed the landfill into a recycling center and removed the large public common bins for trash.
Set up by Polygreen, the Just Go Zero initiative is hoping to steer other Greek islands towards similar programs.
All biodegradable waste is turned into soil treatments, while plastic, metal, glass, and paper are all recycled.
For non-recyclable goods there is an upcycle center for still-working, as well as for electronics and clothes, either for re-use by someone else, or for artistic creations.
“A new culture starts today in Tilos,” said Polygreen founder Athanasios Polychronopoulos, “a culture characterized by 100% landfill diversion, full circular waste management and, most importantly, a completely new perception of life. We are envisioning a future, where waste will only be seen in museums.”
Each resident is given a series of bags in which to separate the material, and like most world-waste collection, a truck arrives infront of your house on certain days to retrieve it and take it to he processing center. The Just Go Zero app allows residents to track how much material they’ve recycled, and learn more about what products and projects it’s going towards.
Polities have all sorts of reasons for wanting a more recycling-based waste system, and as well as providing jobs and keeping the beaches clean, if you live on a beautiful island that’s only 24 square miles, dedicating any of it to a landfill seems a shame.