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  1. General facts
  2. National legislative framework
  3. National policies on waste
  4. Instruments
  5. Data on waste management
  6. National legislation on waste (selected)
  7. Competent Authorities
  8. Bibliography

1. General facts

General facts
Surface area 131626 Km²
Population (tousand inhabitans) 11006
Population density 84 inhabitants/Km²
Average number of persons per private

Passenger cars per 1000 inhabitants** 331
GDP per capita in Purchasing Power
Standards(PPS) EU25=100

GDP per capita (Constant prices) EUR 11473 (at 1995 and exchange rates)
Land use*** -
Household characteristics by
urbanisation degree, distribution of
households % ****
100 % Unknown
Gross value added (GVA) -
At current basic prices and current
exchange rates (% of all branches).
13% Industry, including energy
8% Construction
31% Trade, transport and communication services
20% Buisness activities and financial services
22% Other services
6% Agriculture, hunting and fishing

Source: Eurostat, 2004 except from *2003; **EUROSTAT/DGTREN, 2002; ***2000; ****1999

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2. National legislative framework

National acts/laws on waste management
Reference Main features
Joint Ministerial Decision 114218/1997 of 17 November 1997 Concerning the establishment of a general framework & waste management programs;
Sets the framework of technical specifications and general programmes for the management of solid waste.
Joint Ministerial Decision 50910/2727/2003
(OJG 1909/2003)
Provides measures and terms for solid waste management - national and regional planning management, in complete compliance with the European Waste Framework Directive 91/156/EEC.
Joint Ministerial Decision 13588/725/2006 (OJG 383 B/2006) Provides measures and terms for hazardous waste management.
Joint Ministerial Decision 24944/1159/2006 (OJG 791 B/2006) Concerning the establishment of general technical specifications of hazardous waste management.

2.1 Summary of the legislation relevant to waste management

In 1986, Law 1650 for the Environment established a framework of sanctions and liabilities for the protection of the environment. This Law set the waste management issue under the jurisdiction of Local Authorities. In 1990, two Joint Ministerial Decisions (JMD 69269/5387/90 (Official Journal of the Government - OJG 678B/1990) and JMD 73508/5512/90 (OJG 691B/1990)) introduced environmental impact assessments for certain projects and activities. Recently, the environmental impact assessment framework in Greece(set by Law 1650/1986) has been amended (by Law 3010/2002) in order to fully harmonize national legislation with EU Directives 96/61/EC and 97/11/EC. In accordance with this Law, three new Joint Ministerial Decisions (JMDs 15393/2332/2002, 11014/703/104 and 37111/2021/2003) introduce new provisions for categorization of projects, environmental permitting and public participation.
The EU Waste framework Directive was transposed into domestic law in 1986, through the Joint Ministerial Decision 49541/1424/86 (“solid waste in conformity with Directive 75/442/EEC…”). Directive 91/156/EEC, which amended the Waste Framework Directive, was transposed into domestic law in 1996(through the Joint Ministerial Decision 69728/824/1996), through the Joint Ministerial Decision on “the general measures and conditions for solid waste management”. Generally speaking, the Joint Ministerial Decision attempted to integrate and rationalise earlier legislation in the field of waste management.

In 1996, Local Authorities started the elaboration of Prefectural solid waste management schemes, in accordance with the Joint Ministerial Decision(JMD 69728), which was accompanied by two other acts issued one year later:

  1. JMD 113944/1997 on “the general policy directions for solid waste management at national level” and
  2. JMD 114218/1997 on “the establishment of a framework of technical specifications and of general plans of solid waste management”.

The first act, JMD113944, rearticulated some of the definitions, objectives, procedures and specification lain down by the Joint Ministerial Decision(JMD 69728); moreover, it set some additional quantitative objectives and defined the minimum standards for the studies on the selection of disposal sites, also suggesting measures for raising public awareness and ensuring social acceptance.
JMD 114218 determined the technical specifications regarding the appropriate systems, means and procedures for each of the available waste treatment methods (like temporary storage, collection and disposal, collection at source, recycling etc.) and it also specified the criteria for the selection of landfills, as well as for the planning, design and function of “Sanitary Legal Waste Disposal Sites” (HYTA), mechanical sorting plants and composting facilities.
YPEHODE has prepared the first National Solid Waste Management Plan, which was translated into law in 2000 by JMD 14312/1302/2000 “filling in JMD 113944/1997”.
During 2001-2003, YPEHODE has focused on the transposition of the recent community legislation on the waste management into the national system. Based on the recent institutional framework and the review process of the first National Planning, YPEHODE proceeded to a thorough reform of the domestic management system, issuing in 2003 the JMD 50910/2727/2003 (OJG 1909/2003).
JMD 50910 established “the measures and terms for solid waste management” and provided the guidelines for the national and regional management planning, repealing JMD 69728 of 1996 and JMD 113944 of 1997. This new act aims to achieve “full conformity” with the Waste Framework Directive, placing particular emphasis on the establishment of functional and effective planning and managing procedures. More precisely:

Specific EU targets include the reduction of the quantity of wastes going to final disposal by 20% from 2000 to 2010, and by 50% by 2050, with special emphasis on cutting hazardous waste.

National waste management plans
Period of implementation Main features
National Planning for the Integrated and Alternative Management of Solid Waste (elaborated between 1997-1999) Based on the principles contained in JMD 113944/97:
  • Prevention / reduction of waste produced
  • Utilisation of waste (recycling, energy production)
  • Safe final disposal of residues
  • Proximity of waste management facilities to source of their production
  • Rehabilitation and reintegration of waste disposal sites back to their surrounding environment
  • The polluter-pays principle application
  • Utilisation of the Best Available Techniques
“updated national solid waste management plan”
  • The primary goal of the updated national plan, as set in JMD 50910/2727/2003, is the closure of all illegal dumps (by the end of 2008); in fact, YPEHODE presented a timetable stating the annual planned reductions in uncontrolled dumps for each region.
  • The local planning is placed under the competence of the 13 administrative regions
Transposition of landfill and incineration directives
Transposition Act/Law/decree Year of transposition Text available
Landfill directive99/31 JMD 29407/3508/2002 (OJG 1572B/2002) on measures and terms for sanitary disposal. 2002 Y Greek
Landfill decision 2003/33 - - -
Incineration directive 76/00 JMD 22912/1117/2005 (OJG 759B/2005) on measures and terms for the prevention and reduction of environmental pollution and the incineration of waste 2005 Y Greek

2.2 Landfill and Incineration Directives

According to YPEHODE figures, the number of uncontrolled dumps was statistically reduced from 6,500 in 1997 to 2182 in 2001 and 1458 in 2002.Up until the early 1990s, the use of uncontrolled dumps was the “traditional” method of solid waste disposal. Since then, the overall situation has dramatically improved: There are 45 sanitary landfills constructed in Greece (41 already operational) whereas 47 more sites are under construction including the expansion of existing ones. Last data for the year 2003 reports that 1032 dumping sites, mainly small, were still operating in various municipalities of the country. It is expected that by the end of 2008, uncontrolled waste dumping will cease to exist.
On 16 December 2002 the Directive was transposed into Greek law through a Joint Ministerial Decision (JMD 29407/ 3508 ) of the Ministries of Environment (YPEHODE), Economy, Home Affairs, Development and Health and Social Welfare. The JMD includes Greece’s commitment to reduce the biodegradable municipal waste to 35% by 2020 and not by 2016, because Greece takes advantage of the four-year extension (the “postponement clause”) allowed for those countries landfilling more than 80% of their waste in the year 1996, and is formulating its strategy by placing targets for the years 2010, 2013 and 2020.
Various regional waste management plans foresee the construction of MBT plants as the main tool to meet the Landfill Directive targets. At present 3 such plants are in operation. Obviously, while the option to revise the waste management plans to include other options such as thermal treatment or source separation is always open, but conditions for either of these options do not seem to be mature yet. At the moment, there are no facilities processing source separated organic waste, although it would be fairly easy to do so with at least the green waste, as they are collected separately anyway and some municipalities have thought of doing so.

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3. National policies on waste

Greek national strategy on sustainable development (NSSD):
The strategy been formulated in view of the preparations for the Johannesburg WSSD 2002 and it has been approved by the Council of Ministers in Athens in June 2002. The strategy includes a chapter concerning the “Reduction and rational management of solid waste”.The targets of the National Strategy for the management of solid wastes, as presented in the National Plan of Integrated Management, aim at the safe disposal and maximisation of recycling. In parallel, long-term actions are mainly promoted for the reduction of the total quantity of produced solid wastes.
The basic sectors of action of the NSSD for Solid Wastes are:

The above directions will be accompanied by other actions, such as, training the staff of local authorities and raising the awareness of the responsible for decision making and the citizens in general. Additionally, the Operational Programme “Competitiveness” of the Hellenic Ministry of Development, incorporated in the 3rd Community Support Framework, also provides for the creation of new and extension of existing units for recycling, the reuse and dismantling of solid material and waste and the further promotion of environmental management schemes (e.g. EMAS).
Regarding composting, the current situation can be summed up as follows:

An important area that characterizes the current situation is the secondary raw materials market. Currently, no market for compost or RDF exists. This is due to two main reasons:

Additionally, existing markets for plastics and glass are not well developed, while markets for paper and metals are mostly defined by private sector activities.
There are currently no plans to introduce some kind of landfill tax.

In just over a decade (1987-1998) the quantity of used tyres has experienced a 70 % increase fuelled by the corresponding increase in the numbers of vehicles into circulation (fig. 3.2.5a). The broader Athens district contributes 55 % of the quantities of tyres withdrawn nowadays from the various types of vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles).
On the basis of the existing legislative framework, all tyres producers, importers etc.. have established a collective system called ECOELASTIKA, which is dealing with the separate collection and alternative management (recycling) of used tyres.
The main objectives of the National Legislative Framework on tyres aims to:

Packaging waste and alternative management of selected waste streams:
Law 2939/2001 (OJG 179A/2001) for “Packaging and the Alternative Management of Packaging and other Materials - Establishment of the National Organization for Alternative Management of Packaging and other Materials (NOAMPOM)” constitutes the general legal framework for the alternative management of packaging and other waste streams (i.e. tyres, ELVs, batteries, used oils, construction/demolition wastes, with priorities on the prevention, reuse, recycling and energy recovery without polluting. The whole operational framework for all these waste streams is at its beginning phase (Start of operation: 2nd half of 2004 except for packaging waste), therefore most quantitative information will be available after 2005
The implementation started with the formulation of a private – public partnership, the Packaging Waste Management Company (PWMC), in 2003. This company has undertaken the task to organize packaging waste management activities all over the country and to assure increase in recycling rates for all recyclable materials, by enhancing citizens’ participation and constructing new Material Recovery Facilities.

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4. Instruments

(None Identified)

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5. Data on waste management

Waste generation and treatment in 1000 tonnes
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
Total waste generation - 33130 - - - - - - -
Municipal waste generated 3200 3600 3900 4082 4264 4447 4559 4640 4710
Municipal waste landfilled 3295 3437 3540 3719 3886 4056 4157 4233 4328
Biodegradable municipal waste generated *2100 - - - - - - - -
Biodegradable waste landfilled - - - - - - 2827 2877 2926
Used tyres generated - - - - - - 248 250 252

Source: Eurostat structural Indicators, * Eurostat, data reported by member states to the European Commission (late 2005)

Waste generation and treatment in kg per capita
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
Total waste generation - 33130 - - - - - - -
Municipal waste generated 302 337 363 378 393 408 417 423 428
Municipal waste landfilled 311 322 329 344 358 372 380 386 393
Biodegradable municipal waste generated *199 - - - - - - - -
Biodegradable waste landfilled - - - - - - 259 262 266
Used tyres generated - - - - - - 23 23 23

Source: Eurostat structural Indicators, *Eurostat, data reported by member states to the European Commission (late 2005)

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6. National legislation on waste (selected)

National regulations Exists or not (Y/N) Reference (if available)
Landfill Y JMD 29407/3508/2002 (OJG 1572B/2002) on measures and terms for sanitary disposal (harmonization with the EU Directive 99/31/EC)
Incineration Y Joint Ministerial Decision 22912/1117/2005 which defines measures and terms for the prevention and reduction of environmental pollution and the incineration of waste.
BMW (Bio-degradable municipal waste) ? -
Packaging Y JMD 31784/954/1990 (OJG 251B/1990)
Law 2939/2001
End-of Life Vehicles / Tyres Y Laws2939/2001, Presidential Decrees (PD) 116/2004 (ELV), 109/2004 (tyres)
Waste of electrical and electronic equipment Y Law 2939/2001, PD 117/2004
Batteries Y Law 2939/2001, PD 115/2004
Construction/demolition waste ? -

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7. Competent authorities

This hyperlink will direct you to Competent Authorities on eionet wastebase

8. Bibliography

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