Three SMART WASTE project partners, namely the Lead Partner ARRR, Bulgarian Association of Municipal Environmental Experts (BAMEE) and Klaipeda Regional Waste Management Centre (KRWMC) met online on 14th of April in order to have a focused discussion on project policy improvements development. That was also an opportunity for project partners’ experiences exchange on supporting innovation in waste management, which is a core activity of SMART WASTE project. Representatives of relevant stakeholders of BAMEE, specifically its IT partners DataMplant and Magisterium, implementing a project under the Bulgaria ERDF OP Environment Call for Demonstration projects for better waste management, also took part in the meeting.

The meeting began with discussion about general and specific features for a policy improvement to be eligible for submission in the framework of INTERREG Europe official rules. Since all participating partners are committed to improvement of ERDF OP of their territories, exchange of experiences was focused on existing ERDF OP actions to support innovation in waste management in partners’ regions and territories. This approach has already been proven as an effective tool for mutual inspiration regarding activities for policy improvements of respective ERDF OP.

Each partner provided updates regarding on-going policy development improvements, including regional stakeholders’ involvement and relevant contributions. Examples of possible policy improvements included regional R&D&I projects for the optimisation of composting and anaerobic digestion of organic and green waste, with a specific focus on bio plastics shopping bags recycling and recovery in waste management plants.

Partners also agreed upon the usefulness of sharing detailed information on waste management data collection system in each partner’s respective country on national, regional and local level. This meeting was an opportunity for an overview of existing system in Bulgaria, Italy and Lithuania to be shared and discussed in order to identify opportunities for possible improvements trough interregional experiences exchange. Furthermore, partners agreed on the usefulness of sharing a common set of questions regarding the waste management data collection which should enable gathering systematic information from all the partners aiming to develop a comprehensive overview of the subject. Additionally, stakeholders of BAMEE shared their expertise and experiences on this topic, paving the way for additional and deepened interregional exchange in the framework of SMART WASTE project on-going activities.

Outcomes of this meeting will be used as a basis for further meetings of this kind to be organized in period to come.