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Waste Prevention Kit for enterprises, education and households (WASTEPrevKit)
Start date: Jan 15, 2005, End date: Feb 28, 2008 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Background The management of waste is a significant problem in the EU countres, and waste is on the increase; according to the OECD’s estimation, municipal waste will grow by 43% from 1995 to 2020. However, waste as such is not the biggest problem. Over 90% of the natural resources, which man uses, are turned into waste during the production processes used for products and food. Waste prevention at source saves the natural resources. Moreover, it reduces the environmental hazards and costs ensuing from waste treatment. In the EU strategy for waste management, waste prevention is the primary objective, followed by reuse, recycling, the use of wastes as fuel for energy and final disposal. However, many waste prevention measures must be taken even before a product is manufactured. Therefore, prevention measures are seldom considered a part of waste management, and less effort goes into waste prevention than into its re-use as material or energy, or into its final disposal. An awareness must be achieved amongst consumers and producers, of the environmental and economic benefits to be gained by reducing the consumption of substances, along with an understanding of existing methods and tools. In 2002, the Helsinki Metropolitan Area Council, which is responsible for organising the waste management for households and the public administrations in Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen and Vantaa, began to implement the strategy of waste prevention at source. As part of this strategy, YTV realised the WASTEPrevKit project. Objectives The purpose of the WASTEPrevKit project was to work, test, disseminate and adopt best practice models and materials on waste prevention. It was expected that this would lead to a reduction in the amount of waste in the test area. The target groups were households, schools, day care centres, vocational institutions, public administration and enterprises in the Helsinki Metropolitan area. The existing Waste Benchmarking Service was to be developed, extended and tested to be used as a tool. Results The WASTEPrevKit project was very well implemented from a technical point of view and produced clear, transferable results. It was a very extensive project concerning waste prevention at source, due to the resources used and the diversity of its contents. The project developed and tested ways to change consumer behaviour with regard to waste prevention. The target public were: day-care centres and schools, vocational institutions, households, the public administration and enterprises in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Large information campaigns were carried out, manuals were published, a web portal ( was developed to disseminate information about waste prevention practices. The overall theme of the project related to consumer behaviour, which is difficult to quantify. However, according to "Petra Waste Benchmarking", the waste amounts generated by offices and grocery stores were showing a downward trend at the end of the project. The Waste Benchmarking system was developed by YTV (the beneficiary) since 2000. A new system was introduced in September 2006 and renamed “Petra Waste Benchmarking” (for further information see During the project quite a diversified selection of tools were created for reducing waste amounts. Three examples are as follows: - Teaching materials, elaborated with experts from the educational field, were provided for all levels of schools, from the pre-primary level up to vocational studies. - In the context of the pilot project of the Viikki-Latokartano area in Helsinki, attempts were made to influence the waste amounts generated by the local households over a two-year period through consultation and information activities. Households in the metropolitan area were approached through campaigns promoting immaterial Christmas presents or dealing with the issue of food squander. - The "Smart Ways of Action" models for best practices to reduce waste and the Waste Benchmarking Service Petra were made available for enterprises and the public administrations. The beneficiary was planning to continue the project by maintaining the website and marketing the "Smart Ways of Action" models to the actors of the chosen sectors at the municipal, regional and national levels. The project was to be extended to the health care sector. The Christmas campaign was going to be renewed during the 2008 festive season and in 2009 the chosen theme was to be the prevention of food waste. The results of the project were to be presented at the Eurocities annual waste policy working group meeting in 2008. Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).
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