Waste Management & Circular Economy: Model urban waste management program at HELLENIC PETROLEUM Group’s Aspropyrgos Industrial Complex (AIC)

Waste Management & Circular Economy: Model urban waste management program at HELLENIC PETROLEUM Group’s Aspropyrgos Industrial Complex (AIC)


Founded in 1998, HELLENIC PETROLEUM (www.helpe.gr) is one of the leading energy groups in South East Europe, with presence in 6 countries and activities spanning across the energy value chain, namely: oil refining and fuel marketing, exploration and production, renewable energy sources, petrochemicals, power and gas.


Objective Action

The aim of the action is the implementation of an integrated urban solid waste management system, which meets the National Recycling and Circular Economy Objectives at Aspropyrgos Industrial Complex (AIC) of the Hellenic Petroleum Group S.A. 

The program intends to achieve European and national recycling targets by adopting innovative and operationally friendly, urban solid waste management systems that contribute in promoting circular economy principles. The ultimate goal is to promote AIC as a model of a successfully integrated system of almost zero urban solid waste production that can be extended to all the Group's facilities, and ultimately adopted in large organizations.

The main objective of the "Integrated Urban Waste Management System" Program is to raise awareness and train staff in sustainable development and best available waste reduction and recycling practices. The adoption of the Principles of the Program in employee’s daily life in the workplace contributes to the country’s broader plan to recycle waste, reduce its environmental footprint and adapt circular economy principles. 

This important action contributes to the achievement of UN's Sustainable Development Goal 12 for Responsible Consumption and Production.


Target Audience

The action is initially aimed at the 1600 employees directly or indirectly employed in the Industrial Facilities of Aspropyrgos with a gradual expansion of the program to all industrial facilities of the Group (total of over 3400 employees).



The urban solid waste management system’s first year of operation was from April 2019 to March 2020.  The action continues and is planned to be extended to the Group's other facilities.


Since April 2019, the Aspropyrgos Industrial Complex (AIC) of the Hellenic Petroleum Group S.A., has implemented a pilot project - an integrated urban solid waste management system in response to the National Recycling and Circular Economy Goals for 2020. In all AIC premises, more than 250 color coded bins and signs were placed for the separate collection of the following 10 different recycling waste streams:

  • Paper
  • Metal
  • Plastic
  • Glass
  • Food residues
  • Plastic caps
  • Tetra Pack Containers
  • Batteries
  • Light bulbs
  • Electrical and Electronic Equipment

Proper collection and transport without losses or mixing waste streams  is carried out in separate bins as well as in bags within the bins, both color coded per recycling waste stream, so that the recycling destination of each bag is clearly visible. The following constitute the central bin placement points that cover the building facilities throughout the refinery:

  • Offices’ Recycling Station

The main recycling station is located in office spaces in order to collect four prevalent materials (paper, metals, plastic and common waste) and serves employees’ daily needs.

  • Restaurant Recycling Station

In restaurants, the recycling stations include additional materials, which are produced during the use of restaurants. Particular emphasis is placed on the separate collection of food residues both from employee trays and during the preparation of meals in the kitchen.

  • Recycling Corner

A recycling corner covering all materials was created in the central part of the administration building.

The installation of color coded bins at all these points allows for easy and separate sorting and collection for their removal to the appropriate recycling facility according to waste stream. Specifically for biodegradable food residue management, since Aspropyrgos Municipality was unable to undertake transport of this waste stream, a garbage truck was hired to transport food residues to the Composting Plant of Ano Liosia, at a minimum weekly basis.

For best urban waste management system operational results, the personnel handling the waste management system (cleaning / maintenance crew) were trained in order to adapt to the system’s new infrastructure and recycling requirements. Continuous training was also carried out for all AIC staff, including those responsible for cleaning the buildings, the heavy outdoor area cleaning as well as the staff responsible for the preparation and distribution of food within the premises.

The System is planned to be extended to the Group's other facilities in Elefsina and Thessaloniki.


Impact on Society

The first measurable results include the period from April 2019, the start of the action, to March 2020. 

The distribution of municipal solid waste (by weight) for recycling at the Aspropyrgos Industrial Complex was as follows:

  • Mixed Urban Solid Waste: 76.6%
  • Organic waste: 7.6%
  • Paper: 6.5%
  • Plastics: 4.1%
  • Electrical and Electronic Equipment: 2.3%
  • Tetrapack containers: 1.3%
  • Metals: 1.3%
  • Batteries: 0.2%
  • Light bulbs: 0.1%

A total of 53 tons of municipal waste was recycled compared to 16 tons in the corresponding previous period, i.e. 24% of total waste compared to 7% in the previous year before the program was implemented. While urban waste disposed at landfills decreased from 204 tons to 166 tons. Each employee’s environmental footprint therefore decreased from approximately 128 kg before the program’s introduction to 104 kg.

Initiative Location

Aspropyrgos Attica – Hellenic Petroleum Group’s Aspropyrgos Industrial Complex.

Working with Organization

This initiative involves all HELPE employees and collaborators as well as the cooperation of intermediate waste management companies.

Workers Participation

The Urban Solid Waste Management Program includes all personnel and involved parties’ training with the ultimate aim of all AIC employees’ participation in the solid waste recycling program.


Benefits for Οrganization

It is the first time that an urban solid waste management system of this size has been implemented in the country and especially in an industrial environment.

Even from the first year of the system’s operation (from April 2019 to March 2020) the benefits are evident. Recycling rates (measured by weight) have tripled, which corresponds to 38 tons less waste directed to landfills (i.e. from 204 tons to 166 tons within the first year of the program’s implementation). Also during the same period, more than 20 tons of organic material have been driven to the recycling and composting plant of “EΔSNA”, the Solid Waste Management Operator of Attica Prefecture, and converted for re-use, from a material intended for landfill burial into a product of commercial value.

The increasing amounts of solid waste being recycled show that AIC’s urban solid waste management system as well as employee training have led to growing amounts of materials and appliances being recycled according to Circular Economy principles. As a result, their life cycle is extended, material resources are saved and the company’s environmental footprint is significantly reduced.

Connection with Global Goals

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