The importance of the strategic plan

From a macro perspective, the Strategic Plan is a guiding document of the defined strategy, which mirrors an overview of the waste typology (waste streams), by a given geographical area, in association with the different waste treatment options and, consequently, final destination.

The documents include a structure that addresses:

  • The Waste Management Policy (at national, regional, local, and even European level, if applicable, depending on the geographic area under study) and respective goals / commitments.
  • Overview of the nature of waste and capacity for waste management (waste management directly related to capacity, the nature of collection and treatment options).
  • Technologies (identification of areas with technological potential to solve, reduce or eliminate certain types of waste).
  • The economic and financial perspective of the investment (definition of future investments for waste management).


The great advantage of drawing up a Strategic Plan aimed at Waste Management is to substantiate, plan and describe the intervention of a specific Entity / Region, with responsibilities in Waste Management, within a pre-defined time horizon.
The preparation of a Strategic Plan plays an important role in achieving sustainable management, aiming to establish a structured line of conduct for the recovery and treatment of waste.
More specifically, it intends to establish a complicity between waste policies and the objectives and goals to be achieved, based on appropriate instruments and tools to implement.


The elaboration of a Strategic Plan presupposes 4 major phases:
General Considerations & Background

Phase that consists of defining the outline of the structure of the Strategic Plan, where the boundaries, scope, deadlines, and work plans are defined.

It is at this stage that crucial information regarding legislation (current and prospects) is also considered.

Current Situation  

It refers to the collection of data and other information that characterize the current situation in terms of waste management. There is an analysis of the information collected, which results in the identification of the main problems, the determination of possible solutions to minimize or solve these same problems and a reflection on the future and the System's capacity to respond to the main challenges, always with a view to improvement of performance.


This stage is prepared considering the principles of the national legislation, the elements contained in the characterization of the Current Situation and the relevant assumptions for the projection of the future.

It is essential here to determine how to achieve, implement and evaluate the proposed objectives.


It consists of putting the defined plan into practice.

It includes a public consultation to stimulate dialogue, the exchange of ideas and contributions from stakeholders and the entity responsible for preparing the Strategic Plan.

The final version of the Strategic Plan includes the inputs resulting from the Public Consultation.
The review of the Strategic Plan must take place in pre-defined, cyclical, and duly communicated periods or, whenever relevant elements exist, of an internal or external nature, that interfere with the execution of the Plan.

The moments of evaluation or monitoring are fundamental for verifying the practical application of the Plan, identifying deviations and defining corrective measures, if applicable.

The preparation of a Strategic Plan for Sustainable Waste Management presupposes an improvement or optimization of performance in terms of Waste Management. Some benefits are highlighted, such as the systematization of information, the identification of priority action areas, better technological control, the minimization of environmental impacts, a clear commitment to the quality of service provided and the efficiency of operations, a public commitment and involvement and stakeholder participation (consultative process).
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