The Story of Sălacea


06 Sep 2019


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Brussels 06/09/2019

Zero Waste Europe released today its latest case study on the Romanian city of Sălacea, which established itself as a best practice that can be replicated in rural communities across Europe. This case study is part of a collection of best practices where Zero Waste Europe displays change-making initiatives, led by cities and communities, that are challenging and transforming current waste management and prevention models to inspire change across Europe and beyond.

Romania’s recycling rate is one of the lowest in the EU -13%- with most of the waste going to landfill. The country is therefore at risk of missing the EU 2020 recycling targets as stated in the early warning report published by the European Commission[1].

The publication reports how the city of Sălacea, located in the north-west of Romania, not only managed to quickly rise from almost no waste recycling to 40% in 3 months, but also how the community reduced their overall waste generation by 55%. Indeed, in partnership with Zero Waste Europe and Zero Waste Romania, the authorities in Sălacea began their journey towards Zero Waste by implementing a highly efficient separate and door-to-door collection system. The case study also displays how political will, commitment from the local waste operators and involvement of the community were key to the success of the strategy.

According to Pierre Condamine, Zero Waste Europe’s Waste Policy Officer:

“The case of Sălacea shows that even within a really short amount of time, extremely good results can be achieved if all stakeholders are involved in the planning”.

The publication also highlights some of the challenges that the city faced. Among these, the fact that it needed full involvement from local residents to make it work.

“Using financial incentives alongside soft measures, such as educational training and multilingual communication, were essential to have citizens actively participating in the project”. 

Download the Case Study

Press Contact: Jack McQuibban, Cities Programme Coordinator, Zero Waste Europe, [email protected], +32 (0) 2 73 62 091