COLLECTORS is a European-funded, Horizon 2020 project which aims to identify and highlight existing good practices of waste collection and sorting. It focuses on three waste streams: paper and packaging, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), and construction and demolition waste (CDW)

More specifically, the main objective of the COLLECTORS project is to harmonize and disclose available information on different waste collection systems; to gain better insight into the overall performance of systems; and to support decision-makers in shifting to better-performing systems via capacity-building and establishing implementation guidelines.

To reach this goal, COLLECTORS will work in three phases:

  1. Inventory: map, harmonize and disclose existing information on waste collection systems throughout Europe for packaging and paper waste, WEEE, and CDW. The resulting inventory of waste collection practices will be disclosed on a web-based platform to help decision-makers find systems that are in line with their needs.
  2. Assessment: assess the overall performance of waste collection systems in different geographical areas based on comparable data for twelve case studies (four per waste stream), using life-cycle assessments and cost-benefit analyses.
  3. Implementation: stimulate successful implementation of better-performing waste collection systems by providing implementation guidelines for the collection of the three waste streams, which will include tailored instructions per type of location. COLLECTORS will also provide policy recommendations on aligning the different policy levels involved. To this end, multi-criteria decision making will be applied as participatory learning exercises together with regional decision-makers.

Two continuous processes will support the three phases throughout the duration of the project:

  1. Alignment with practice: to ensure a participatory approach, to validate project activities and results, and to ensure the relevance of project outputs, COLLECTORS will rely on focus groups and capacity-building. The project will engage citizens, decision makers, and any other relevant stakeholder along the recycling value chain.
  2. Alignment with innovation: integration of state-of-the-art knowledge in the COLLECTORS project as well as dissemination of results to other projects. Matchpoint analyses will be used to identify and characterize innovative waste (collection) projects.