SIRCLES partners visited the compost facility in Andros, Greece


On 16th and 17th March 2023, SIRCLES partners from Greece, Spain, Italy, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Tunisia met in Athens, Greece to attend the fifth Steering Committee of the project and to visit the compost facility built in Andros by the Greek partners of the consortium: the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and Organisation Earth (OE).

The EU-funded SIRCLES project hires young people who are Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEETs) and women at risk of social exclusion and provides them with training and job opportunities in compost facilities such as the one in Andros, where food waste from nearby stores, restaurants and local citizens is collected and treated to create compost. In this pilot area, 10 people have been trained and hired; and 10 more NEETs and women are expected to be trained and hired soon.

The event started on 16th March in Athens, when the Steering Committee of the project was held. This meeting had the objective of overseeing the state of the project, discuss the problems and the possible solutions to the day-to-day activities and face the following months of the project, which is due to finish this year.

During the fifth SIRCLES Steering Committee

On the following day, 17th March, the partners took a ferry to the island of Andros and a bus to the area of Korthi, where the pilot composting area of SIRCLES’ partners in Greece is located. There, they saw in person how NEETs and women hired under SIRCLES make the compost from source separated food waste and green waste delivered in the plant, and the resulting compost obtained after its maturing process.

During the visit to the pilot composting facility in Andros, Greece

After the visit to the compost area, a visit to the Korthi conference venue was held. There, the consortium met the workers of the facility. This event was attended by notable guests including Mr. Nikolaos Syrmalenios, member of the Greek Parliament and Mr. Dimitros Lotsaris, mayor of Andros, who showed his support to the initiative: “with the help of SIRCLES, we have started to feel the magic of waste recycling, we look forward to renewing our whole waste management system”.

Professor Lyberatos, NTUA’s project coordinator at SIRCLES, gave a presentation explaining the importance of this project and how it leads to improving the fight against greenhouse effect emissions. He also explained to the attendees who had not visited the plant how the pilot works. Following that, Mr. Francesc Giró, Project Director at the Waste Agency of Catalonia, gave a speech underlining the importance of compost, biowaste and recycling: “recycling creates many more workplaces than incineration or landfilling, we have seen a good example in Andros this can be replicated everywhere, and it must be replicated”.

During the final ceremony

Finally, the 10 workers hired at the compost facility under SIRCLES received a diploma for their participation in the project.