Description of Innovation

The Greek Police (EL.AS.) implements a program of recycling plastic and metal packages at the source with a rewarding benefit. The innovation consists on the fact that for the first time a remunerative recycling program has been created, which concerns a public service, was designed on the initiative of the political and physical leadership of EL.AS. and has two main objectives: a) the strengthening of the Account of Orphans of EL.AS. and b) the dissemination and development of ecological awareness to the staff of EL.AS. Today, the program is implemented in buildings of EL.AS. almost all over the mainland and in Crete. The program, which started as a pilot in collaboration with the company "Reciprocal Recycling SA", from June 2018, is now in full implementation, from August 2019 and is coordinated by the Foundation for Care and Excellence EL.AS. The partner company collects the recycling bags from all the Services participating in the program and proceeds to count the packages. From the counting in the special machines, the corresponding coupons of compensatory benefit are issued and the reciprocal benefit is paid directly to the Account of Orphans that is kept in the Care Institution of the Hellenic Police. The participation of EL.AS. at the GREEN AWARDS Awards and the winning of the first prize for the section "source recycling in the public sector" proves the success of the program, the mobilization of staff and its zealous participation in the initiative.

Reasons for Innovation

The opportunity to increase the resources of the Hellenic Police Care Foundation at low cost, through an innovation was the trigger for the development of the Remunerative Recycling program. Other important reasons for the development of the program concern: • The adaptation to the European Directive 2015/720 / EU and the implementation of Law 4496/2017 (A-170). • Waste management for environmental protection. • In the development of ecological consciousness in the staff of EL.AS. • The financial support from the reciprocal benefit to the children of the staff of the House.

Objectives of Innovation

The objectives of the reciprocal recycling program are: 1) The protection of the environment. 2) The development of ecological consciousness in the staff of EL.AS. 3) The increase of the financial support of the beneficiaries of the Orphans Account kept at the Foundation for Care and Excellence of the Hellenic Post.

Innovation results

The program concerns approximately 330 direct financial beneficiaries, as well as all those serving in the Hellenic Police Corps who are trained on the implementation of the program. The results from the implementation of the program exceeded the expectations of the institution. Regarding the protection of the environment, from the beginning of the implementation of the program in 2018 until the end of the year 2020, the quantities of recyclable materials collected increased by 300%. In this way, the goal of increasing the reciprocal benefit credited to the Orphans Aid Account of the staff of EL.AS is achieved. During the current year 2021, it is estimated that there will be a 30% increase in the financial support given to the beneficiaries of the Orphans Aid Account of the staff of EL.AS. In addition, according to the goal of developing ecological awareness, in every regular or extraordinary gathering the staff of the institution is trained on the issue of Recycling, while during the stay of about 70 families of police officers in the Children's Countryside, relevant information is provided by responsible Camp officials for the benefits of recycling. As a result, there was a significant increase in the annual financial support of the beneficiaries, which improved the traders' confidence in the Agency.

Design stage

The program was designed by the political and physical leadership of EL.AS. The source of inspiration was primarily the European directive as well as the observation of the large volume of use of recyclable packaging by the staff of the Agency. The design was assigned to the Foundation "Care and Excellence EL.AS." At the design stage, relevant meetings were held with representatives of both the Foundation and the Agency "Remunerative Recycling SA". The representatives of the two parties also formed the innovation team, as the program was implemented for the first time in a public service.

Experimental Implementation stage

The program was piloted in central services of EL.AS. in the region of Attica. At this stage, the innovation team collaborated with the services, in order to highlight and correct any problems and to redesign the program, for its complete implementation. The pilot implementation of the program lasted fourteen months. In the pilot phase, a rapid increase in the collected recyclable materials and the high response of the participants were observed in a short period of time.

Implementation stage

From the summer of 2019, the program is in the implementation stage with the issuance of relevant instructions. At this stage, the program has been expanded with the installation of recycling bins and the collection of recyclable materials in the headquarters of each Police Department and in the central executive service of each Region. Specifically, the program so far is applied in the Police Directorates (Police) of the whole mainland, except for some D.A. in Central Macedonia & Eastern Macedonia - Thrace, which are to be included in the near future. Subsequently, the program is planned to be extended to other Services within the Region. Crete also participates in the program. During the process of joining a service in the program, a relevant order is issued which defines the manner and types of collection of recyclable materials, as well as the route followed by the recycling company, for the collection of bags collected, while a standing order has been issued to all Services of EL.AS. for the implementation of the program in the institution. With the placement of the bins by the company in each service, relevant information is provided by a representative of the company about the way and the benefits of recycling. Also, when problems are identified regarding the operation - organization of the program or the packages are not collected properly, every liaison - police officer appointed for this purpose, in the respective service or the Director / Commander of the Service, who participates in the program, is immediately informed, in order to address the issue that arises. In the program context, information days are foreseen, which due to the restrictive measures to prevent the transmission of covid-19 have been postponed.


At all stages of the innovation, the Hellenic Police collaborated with the organization "RETURN RECYCLING SA".

Financing and costs

No resources were spent by the organization for the implementation of the program as the contracting company has undertaken the complete collection of recyclable materials as well as the installation of suitable bins. For the coordination of the action, an employee-coordinator of the Foundation and 103 liaisons in services nationwide are utilized. In total, the program requires the employment of approximately 30-40 employees for at least two hours per week.

Challenges and solutions during design, testing and implementation

One problem that is observed conserns the expansion of the program in the island country, due to the difficulty of developing a network for the transportation of recyclable materials. However, an effort is being made to expand the program, especially on the larger islands, by collecting materials in a specific area and transporting them by sea to the recycling company's headquarters.

Assessment - description of the necessary conditions for the success and sustainability of innovation

For the success and sustainability of innovation, it is important to support the program through information to raise awareness about environmental protection and to learn about the recycling process at source. Also, the faster response of the cooperating company for the inclusion even more Services in the program is necessary.

Experiences, thoughts, findings

The implementation of the program, which currently concerns only the strengthening of the orphans' account, mobilized the staff involved in it due to the sensitivity it shows for the social group that provides financial support through the reciprocal benefit. In addition to the orders issued for the implementation of the program, the help to the vulnerable social group of orphaned children, who have lost one of their parents, is a prelude and an incentive for someone to contribute - participate in the program. In addition, the program awakened or instilled the ecological consciousness of the staff by taking the responsible attitude towards the protection of the environment.

Agency: Hellenic Police Care and Excellence Foundation

Level of government: National

Policy area: Environment, Social Welfare and Protection

Year: 2018

Type of Innovation: Process design and redesign, Social Innovation

Innovation Stage: Implementation

Beneficiaries: Civil Servants, Special Categories: Families

Number of beneficiaries: 330 direct financial beneficiaries

Sources of Funding: There is no funding



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