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PlastiCircle Preps Pilot Initiative in Romania

17 September 2018

The PlastiCircle consortium took a step closer to its circular economy innovations last week, with a technical visit to the Romanian town of Alba Iulia – home to the third and final pilot for Plasticircle innovations in plastic collection, transport, sorting and recycling.


On 12-13 September 2018, the PlastiCircle team visited Alba Iulia, with a series of briefings and study visits to assess conditions on the ground for the local pilot project beginning in the spring of 2020.


Following briefings by the departmental environmental protection agency and the municipality of Alba Iulia, the team embarked on a series of visits around the area: to the local Goldis neighbourhood, and to Alba Iulia district’s integrated waste management plant outside the town.


The Goldis neighbourhood, through which the Strada Vasile Goldis runs towards the central citadel area of the town, will be the location of piloting for waste collection and transport methods designed by PlastiCircle experts in collaboration with local authorities.


Innovations such as smart container technology for plastic waste and optimised transport routes for collection trucks will be rolled out – probably in from March 2020 for a period of five to six months.


The consortium also visited the newly built integrated waste management plant near Alba Iulia. This recently completed infrastructure is ready to host plastic waste sorting activities as soon as local authorities select a company to take over operations. At present, a number of candidate companies are in the running for the contract to begin operations in 2019.


Following the technical visit, Valentin Voinica of Alba Iulia municipality said: “We are expecting to improve a lot in Alba Iulia, in terms of recycling plastic, and also in terms of obtaining new goods from the waste which is currently land filled.”


Aside from introducing innovations in plastic waste collection and transport, the PlastiCircle approach also involves improving plastic sorting using innovative optical technologies and even developi9ng new added-value, recycled plastic products.


With pilot projects in Valencia in Spain, Utrecht in the Netherlands and Alba Iulia, Romania (and with ‘follower city’ Velenje in Slovenia), the PlastiCircle project has a truly European dynamic.


The technical visit to Alba Iulia follows similar visits to Valencia and Utrecht, ahead of the pilot initiatives that will take place there in spring 2019 and autumn 2019 respectively.