Tilos Greece The First Zero Waste Island

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What is arguably more impressive than the island’s beauty, however, is its “zero waste” island moniker. With its 500 permanent island inhabitants, no large bins can be seen on the streets. You will see no landfill, as well. In addition to this – waste burying, along with plastic bags, simply does not exist in Tilos.

How did they achieve that?

For starters, the island of Tilos along with Polygreen, a Piraeus-based network of companies promoting a circular economy, has implemented a waste management program called Just Go Zero that allows its local community to dispose of almost all types of waste through a sorting and recycling system.

Tilos Greece news: how does the Just Go Zero program work?

The locals, both residents and businesses, start off the program by sorting their waste. They have 3 categories available to sort their waste: recyclable materials, non-recyclable materials and bio-waste.

No one gets left behind in the Just Go Zero program. The sustainability news on Tilos Greece mentions that all 350 households, the municipality and businesses participate in the program. They all receive different selection bags with QR codes that they can use to collect waste with. In addition, they have a mobile app that they can use to track their contribution to the zero waste initiative Tilos implemented.

As the locals have sorted and stored their waste, collectors come to every door on the island on certain days of the week. They see their busiest in the summer when they accommodate many tourists.

Municipal waste is delivered to the island’s circular innovation centre. Before being a circular innovation centre, the area was formerly a landfill site. In the facility, waste is sorted and prepared for recycling, composting, reusing or sent for incineration.

How successful is the program? Answer: very much. The results from Just Go Zero Tilos are already impressive with more than 85% of the Island’s waste recovered and composted.

Self-sufficient energy in Tilos

To add to this Tilos Greece news, the island also has a self-sufficient energy system which includes wind turbines, photovoltaic panels, and a battery energy storage system. Moreover, the system produces enough electricity to cover the island’s energy needs, which they previously acquired from diesel generators.

In addition, the island has replaced its traditional diesel-powered vehicles with electric or hybrid ones, which includes cars, scooters, and bicycles. The renewable energy system powers the vehicles, making them emissions-free.

Waster’s final thoughts on this Tilos Greece zero waste island news

Tilos, Greece’s journey to become a “zero waste” island certainly captures the idea of creating a sustainable future for its people. Through their commitment and dedication, this small yet determined island is demonstrating the potential of resource recovery practices and  renewable technology in order to create their vision of a future that is both prosperous and clean.

Moreover, the success of programs such as Just Go Zero demonstrates how local responsibility has global impact, with other places around the world also taking strides to reduce their waste production. So, we think it’s time for more communities around the world to start thinking more holistically about waste management and make more sustainable choices.

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