Waste management is an important dimension of environment protection. According to the Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC, WM strategies must aim primarily to prevent the generation of waste. The waste should be treated as secondary raw material, reused, recycled, recovered or used as an energy source. As a final resort, waste should be disposed of safely by incineration or in landfills.

The aim of the project is the education of the target groups: representatives from waste or environmental department within municipalities, VET schools and decision makers, for sustainable WM in line with the national and EU policies and in long-term contributing to the development and management of waste resources on both a local and global scale. 

Project objectives are focused on the: 

    • Development and implementation of new and innovative professional courses for the waste sector in line with EU Waste Framework Directive. 
    • Improvement of the level of competencies and skills at municipality level in the field of sustainable WM. 
    • Minimalization of the gap between the needs for new knowledge, lack of educational programs and challenges of target groups in sustainable waste management. 




The transition to a sustainable and climate-neutral economy requires significant investment throughout the EU. Most areas are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and requires integrated and coordinated actions towards socio-economic transformation. Moreover, the COVID19 pandemic has significantly affected the society. It is important is to provide unique support across Europe to students, entrepreneurs and innovators dedicated to developing innovative solutions to societal challenges.


The ENCOURAGE project delivers solutions with
well-defined market pathways. The most important is to encourage and educate the municipal employees how to manage wastes appropriately in order to enable proper management of wastes generated within the municipalities. This will be made possible by building relevant and high-quality skills and competences through the development and implementation of Courses for Sustainable Waste Management (WM) for Municipalities These courses will support the setting up and provide access to upskilling pathways on sustainable WM which is the most relevant priority of this Project. The acquired relevant knowledge and skills by the employees in the municipalities will empower them to provide continuous sustainable management of their wastes Improper WM and disposal of waste have serious environmental impacts, for example landfills cause air pollution from emissions of methane.



Result 1 - Benchmarking analysis of skills and competences, needs and challenges for Sustainable Waste Management

The objective of the benchmarking analysis is to provide assessment of the current situation regarding the skills and competences of the target groups in sustainable waste management, and their needs and challenges they are facing in practical implementation of the Waste Management (WM) legislation requirements.

In order to understand which is the best waste management practices that will overcome the shortcomings for the target groups, detailed needs analysis is needed. This will be a comparative analysis of the current good practices in waste management in EU and in the project partner countries, which are incorporated within their strategic documents in WM.

The analysis will be focused on the skills and competences, needs and challenges of the target groups – employees working in the waste sector in municipalities, with special focus on GAP analysis and their needs and challenges in the field of sustainable waste management, and the employees working in the waste sector in decision makers, their needs and challenges in developing methodologies and making legal decisions related to proper waste management.

The idea is to involve of the State Environmental Inspectorates in the project partners’ countries to participate in development of the course and its implementation


Result 2 - Qualification profile for Waste management specialist with the use of NQF/EQF levels

The Qualification profile for Waste management specialist with the use of NQF/EQF levels aims to provide basic elements and recommendations for development of sectoral qualification descriptors for the profile Waste management specialist. This Qualification profile objectives are oriented towards increasing transparency and recognition of skills and qualifications to facilitate learning, employability and labour mobility for this profile. The outcome integrates and correlates professional education, including improvement of key competences acquired in the process of the educational stages.

The qualification/competence profile for the Waste Manager will be developed through: knowledge, skills and social competencies.

It will be a tool for designing training, based on identified competences gaps and it will be the basis for the creation of the credible and alternative source of acquiring and confirming skills. It will include national research models and common competence standards with the comparison to EQF.

Result 3 - Curriculum and syllabus development for Courses for Sustainable Waste Management with the certification elements

Curriculum development for Courses for Sustainable Waste Management, as well as syllabus for each course, and preparation of elaborates for certification.

ENCOURAGE will develop the models/systems of validation and certification of waste specialist competences in the waste management sector. 

The methodology will focus on the procedures for community certification (by leading industry organizations) of the competences of personnel based on the requirements of the ISO/IEC 17024 standard which was designed to harmonize the personnel certification process worldwide.

Result 4 -Training materials for Courses for Sustainable Waste Management

This result includes the development of training in the work environment, cascading, flexible learning paths, activating didactic methods, modern, innovative methods teaching taking into account the specifics of Waste Management Sector. The emphasis will be put on the individualization of training, active and practical learning methods, solutions in organization and didactics.

Result 5 - Interactive e-learning platform

The results of the ENCOURAGE project will be solutions that make self-learning and improving skills easier in the workplace as well as enabling possible self-learning in convenient moment of time and will support the learners when performing vocational tasks.

Developed e-learning platform will provide opportunities for using innovative learning methods, as well as possibility to have e-courses, forums and blended learning possibilities. The structure of multimedia materials developed for the profession of a specialist of Waste Management will include a division into qualifications, skills, knowledge and social competence modules. E-resources will be developed in accordance with IT standards and solutions.

Result 6 - Waste management knowledge hub

A Waste management knowledge hub (public waste management platform) will be developed as a complementary part of the e-learning platform.

It will provide opportunity for new learners from various municipalities in European countries, to use the resources and project results.

The WM knowledge hub will contain a library of documents; promote latest research findings, guidance and self-service help in waste management, which can assist all stakeholders with resolving their waste management issue. All interested parties in this area can use the shared information on EU waste policy, WM ideas, opportunities and tools for handling different types of wastes, waste management case studies etc.