Orendain Municipality

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Orendain is a small village (population 210) in Gipuzkoa Province in the Basque Country, Northern Spain.

Gorka Egia, mayor of the Municipality of Orendain, highlights two main initiatives in sustainability led by the the municipal government, in waste management and renewable energy.

Waste management. Orendain's municipal waste policy is based upon a commitment to a zero waste model. Key to this is a recognition that methane emissions from decomposition of organic matter in rubbish dumps is responsible for up to 80& of greenhouse gas emissions.[1].

Key to the municipality's zero waste strategy is separation of domestic waste streams. All organic waste produced in the town is composted locally. The rest of the fractions are collected separately. Other kinds of waste are separated at household level and collected separately. Residents produce an average of 1.8 kg/ per person per month of inert solid waste.

Renewable energy. The municipality has created a new energy plan that reflects key goals relating to sustainability, reducing dependency on fossil fuels and elimination of energy poverty.[2]

The plan involves three main lines of action: 1. The use of technology to reduce energy consumption, become less dependent on fossil fuels and promote energy autonomy. Key technologies employed are LED lighting, solar panels, biomass pellet heaters, and electric vehicles.

2. Mobilising, advising and training local people about global issues relating to energy and climate change.

3. Creation of public support schemes to encourage change in consumption habits among citizens. This will provide financial support to residents who choose green energy suppliers, use public transport, regulate their water use and participate in community work.