The pilot meeting of the project took place in the OVAM offices in February 2017. The mission of the project was to develop policy instruments related to the management and valorisation of landfills and their integration into the circular economy. Each partner has indicated an existing policy instrument that can act as a catalyst for introducing a new approach. For Flanders, this policy instrument is the Soil Remediation Decree (Bodemdecreet) and in the Netherlands, the focus is the Environmental Protection Act (Natuurbeschermingswet). In Andalusia, Brandenburg, Cyprus and Malta the policies used mainly target the improvement of operational programs, e.g. reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and optimising landfill management and costs.
An action plan was designed, per region, based on the chosen policy instrument, to improve (dynamic) landfill management. In addition, partners must introduce a stakeholder group as an advisory board and develop a landfill management policy. The total budget to fulfil all of these tasks is 1.4 million euros, of which 1.19 million euros is subsidised by Interreg Europe.
COCOON isn’t the only landfill valorisation initiative in which Flanders participates. As early as 2016, New-Mine was approved as an EU Horizon 2020 project. Both COCOON and New-Mine were initiated in Flanders.
The COCOON-members delivered innovative landfill management concepts to the European administration (in terms of best practices, peer review, etc.).