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Blue Birdies receives the European Paper Recycling Award at the European Parliament

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The effort and commitment to recycling of 29 city councils and 14 million Spanish citizens participating in the Blue Birdies initiative by ASPAPEL has been acknowledged with the European Paper Recycling Award. The awards ceremony of this prestigious biennial award, organised by the European Paper Recycling Council, took place at the European Parliament in Brussels.

In its sixth edition, the jury for the awards was made up of Euro MPs, namely Simona Bonafè (Italy), and Inés Ayala (Spain), Ferran Rosa (Zero Waste Europe) and environmental journalist Rudi Bressa. It was chaired by Lisa Kretschmann (European Federation of Envelope Manufacturers).

The Blue Birdie flew to Brussels to accept the prize and bring it back to the city councils. Accompanying the Blue Birdie to the ceremony were representatives of some of the winning city councils, such as Fuenlabrada City Council, represented by the Councillor for the Environment, Antonio González Moldes, and the Technical Director of Environmental Services, Ricardo Luis Izquierdo (also on behalf of the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces) ; the Association of Municipalities of the Western Costa del Sol, represented by the Second Vice-President an Mayor of Ojén, José Antonio Gómez Sánchez, and Marco Antonio Navarro, Technical Director for the Environment, and, representing the town of Coslada, the Deputy Mayor and Councillor for Urban Planning, Housing, Roads and Public Works and the Environment, María del Rosario Arroyo. Representing ASPAPEL was General Manager, Carlos Reinoso ; the Chairman of the Recycling Committee, Guillermo Valles ; Recycling and Logistics Manager David Barrio, and the Director of the Blue Birdies project, Andrea Orallo.

Blue Birdies is an annual programme that provides of advice, assessments and recognition of the quality of municipal management of selective collection of paper and cardboard for the recycling, focused on continuous improvement and developed and piloted by ASPAPEL.
Blue Birdies performs an evaluation in each participating municipal area, based on 21 indicators, which analyse everything to do with collection of blue containers, as well as complementary information campaigns and actions, and citizen awareness, aspects relating to regulation and planning of waste management through to results and traceability to final recycling. Each indicator is scored according to established scales and the maximum score that can be achieved is of 100 points.
ASPAPEL has designed the program in such a way as to offer an incentive for improvement by awarding Blue Birdies to individual or groups of municipal areas, which must achieve high levels of excellence every year according to the target on the scale and based on the results obtained in the evaluation. According to these results, in successive annual editions of the Blue Birdies, municipalities maintain, obtain more, or lose all the ‘Blue Birdies’ obtained the previous year.
In the 2017 edition of the Blue Birdies, twenty-nine local entities (municipalities and groups of municipalities) from twelve autonomous communities received one, two or three Blue Birdies in recognition of their excellent management in terms of selective collection of paper and cardboard. The 2017 Blue Birdies were handed out last February in Madrid, in a ceremony presided over by Isabel Garcia Tejerina, Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and the Environment, which was attended by numerous mayors and presidents of local groups.

To thank the inhabitants of these towns for their collaboration with recycling and to encourage them to keep up the good work, because this effort is worthwhile and has been key to achieving this distinction, from June to October, the Blue Birdie travels around different towns and groups of towns recycling paper and cardboard, making twenty-one stops in places which, in 2017, received two or three Blue Birdies. Visiting the winning towns also aims to add value to the work of the local councils to continuously improve selective collection of paper and cardboard.

The Blue Birdie started its flight at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and the Environment, where it was welcomed by the Minister Isabel Garcia Tejerina, who wished it a "good flight and much success in promoting the importance of recycling".
From north to south and from east to west, on the beach, in public squares, crossing bridges, in schools, in libraries and auditoriums… the Bluebird is continuing to send out a message of appreciation and encouragement to the great recycling family.

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