Europe’s cities are some of the world’s greatest tourism destinations. The socio-economic impact of tourism is extraordinary in cities, but it brings at the same time a range of negative externalities, including high levels of unsustainable resource consumption and waste production. In comparison with other territories, tourist cities have to face additional challenges related to waste prevention and management due to their geographical and climatic conditions, the seasonality of tourism flow and the specificity of tourism industry and of tourists as waste producers.
Earlier in 2016, the Horizon2020 project URBAN-WASTE has been launched to support policy makers in answering these challenges and in developing strategies that aim at reducing the amount of municipal waste production and at further support the re-use, recycling, collection and disposal of waste in tourist cities. Now entering into its final semester, URBAN-WASTE has been using smart solutions and ICT tools combined with evidence-based policies to tackle certain occurrences and unsustainable practices related to tourism’s impact on waste management. For example, a mobile phone application, the so-called WasteApp, has been developed by project partners to promote users’ good behaviour regarding waste, to have a positive impact on waste management and to monitor cities’ litter policies. Other applications, like the Food Waste Tracker, are used by URBAN-WASTE pilot cities and regions to facilitate and enhance greener practices in tourism addressing and providing tourists, locals and tourism service providers with tools to improve their waste management performances.
For more information on the project, visit www.urban-waste.eu