The EU has formulated ambitious targets with respect to the circular economy and near-zero waste. A circular European economy will have large environmental benefits - and it will secure a sustainable access to secondary raw materials. Waste collection is in this respect a crucial step: it is the moment in the value chain where a product (consisting of valuable materials) loses its value for a user and has to be brought back to earlier phases in the value chain. Proper collection of waste is a pre-condition for optimal recovery of materials from waste. At present, however, adequate and quantified information on the overall performance of different waste collection systems is lacking. The aim of the COLLECTORS is to provide decision-makers with more information on the economic and environmental performance of different systems.

The objectives of the call as formulated in the Horizon 2020 work programme 2016-2017:

• Map and assess existing waste collection systems in a representative set of EU Member States for a wide range of waste streams, including packaging and paper waste, and end-of-life products (e.g. electrical and electronic equipment, batteries, transport vehicles, tyres, construction products, furniture).

• Where feasible assess advantages and disadvantages of different approaches – including environmental and socio-economic impacts – with quantified costs and benefits.

• Identify good practices and key elements for effective and efficient waste collection systems, as well as the barriers for implementation and possible solutions to overcome bottlenecks taking into consideration the adaptability of solutions to different regions of the EU.

• Validate the identified key elements, good practices, and the measures to overcome obstacles by consulting stakeholders through a participatory approach involving citizens and plan targeted dissemination actions.

COLLECTORS started in December 2017 and will be running for the next 31 months.