Infrastructure expansion, waste generation and EU policies on Circular Economy in Samothraki, Greece: An island's dilemma

For the Greek island of Samothraki, the EU recovery and recycling targets for construction and demolition waste
seem currently far out of reach. For many island communities dealing with waste represents one of the major challenges towards a local sustainable development (Eckelman et al. 2014). The EU Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC) demands from EU member states a 70% recovery and recycling rate for construction and demolition
waste (CDW) by 2020. With the implementation of the 2018 Circular Economy (CE) package the significance of recycling and reuse even increased (European Commission 2016; 2018). The present study introduces a case about the small and remote Greek island Samothraki that due to numerous reasons is currently far away from meeting these targets. Since the construction of a new port in the late 1960s, the island experienced an unprecedented era of infrastructure expansion accompanied by new and complex challenges regarding CDW. With no proper management system for
CDW in place, material output was so far used for backfilling or simply dumped illegally somewhere on the island or into the sea. Buildings and infrastructure provide important services to society and depending on their lifetimes can shape material demand and waste generation for a long time due to inherent path dependencies (Fishman et al. 2015; Haberl et al. 2017). By applying a dynamic bottom-up stock modelling approach (Tanikawa et al. 2015; Stephan and
Athanassiadis 2018), this study aims at establishing a comprehensive analysis of drivers and quantities for resource consumption and CDW generation on the island of Samothraki for buildings and infrastructure from 1971 to 2016.

Associated space

Samothraki Island