Working on / Promoting recycling


The Municipal Tu Papel 21 programme


Following the resounding success of the first edition, we have opened registration to take part in the 2nd edition of the Blue Birdies 2018 programme within the Tu Papel 21 – Municipalities scheme aimed at local authorities of towns with over 50,000 inhabitants. The programme provides technical advice, recognition and visibility for continuous improvement initiatives in municipal management of selective paper and board collection. 
For this edition, first-time participants in the programme must register and accept the contest rules through The next step is to complete the questionnaire for the annual assessment of the 21 indicators. Local authorities that already participated in the first edition only need to update their details and include the improvements they have implemented. The deadline for completing or updating the questionnaire is 30th June 2017. 
As far as the assessment criteria are concerned, the indicators have been revised to adapt the annual programme to new challenges in municipal selective collection. The new scenario in Europe brings with it even more ambitious targets so that by 2030, 70% of the total weight of municipal waste will have to be recycled. In order to help achieve such a collection rate, specifically for paper and, a number of measures can be implemented, such as the installation of blue bins with “anti-theft” devices to prevent the removal of contents or deterioration of the bin itself. Furthermore, deteriorated bins mean that the quality of collected paper is worsening and the amount of unsuitable materials in selective paper collection is growing. For this reason, we propose to place greater importance on checking the quality of the collected material and on the series of corrective measures implemented to reduce theft and improve quality. Indeed, the first anti-theft bins tested on public roads have resulted in a 25% increase in the amount and a substantial improvement in the quality of the paper and board collected. 
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All programme documentation and the revised guide to the indicators can be downloaded from the section below.  TO FIND OUT MORE... 


Twenty-nine local authorities (town councils and groups of municipalities) in twelve autonomous regions have been awarded for the excellence of their selective paper and board collection management in the first edition of ASPAPEL’s Pajaritas Azul Tu papel 21 Municipios (Your Paper 21 Municipal Blue Birdies) scheme. Six local authorities have been awarded the highest distinction with three Blue Birdies, fifteen have won two Blue Birdies, and a further eight have received one Blue Birdie each.
The twenty-nine winning municipalities include three cities with more than 500,000 inhabitants, nine with a population of between 200,000 and 500,000, ten whose population is between 100,000 and 200,000 and seven with between 50,000 and 100,000 inhabitants. See list here
By Spanish autonomous regions, Catalonia, Andalusia and Castilla & Leon each have five winning municipalities; Madrid, four; Aragon and Castilla-La Mancha, two; and Galicia, the Balearic Isles, Navarre, La Rioja, Asturias and the Basque Country, one each.
The complete list of local authority winners of Blue Birdies will be released on 6th February 2017 prior to the actual award ceremony to be held in Madrid.
Promoting recycling is one of ASPAPEL’s strategic objectives, which it launched in 2002. Tu Papel is an important way of contributing to sustainable development through continuous improvement in the recovery and recycling of paper and board in Spain. As part of the project, the Tu Papel 21 programme has been implemented over the last decade and entails a system for diagnosing, implementing improvements and certifying municipal selective collection of paper and board based on 21 indicators and supported by citizen participation and communication models in line with the local guidelines for the UN’s Agenda 21 action plan.
In 2007, the programme won the European Paper Recycling Award in Brussels, which distinguishes innovative projects to promote paper recycling in Europe. The panel of judges comprised members of the European Parliament and European Commission, associations (Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and Sustainable Resource Management, ACR+) and NGOs (WWF International).

In 2016, ASPAPEL renewed its prestigious and renowned certification program Tu Papel 21, after ten years’ service to local authorities, providing expert know-how, recognition and visibility for continuous improvement in municipal management of selective paper and board collection.
One of the main novelties introduced most recently refers to the frequency of assessments, which are now held once a year, thus setting the town/city council a greater incentive for improvement and which produces a detailed log of the programme’s development. Furthermore, annual assessments enable ASPAPEL to provide closer follow-ups and advisory services to accompany the municipality in its process of continuous improvement.
In addition, both local citizens and the media now receive relevant, updated information on the management of selective paper and board collection in their municipalities on a yearly basis.
While employing the same technical rigour but in a more flexible and speedier fashion, the Pajaritas Azul Tu Papel 21 Municipios scheme offers town and city councils a new and simpler means of operating, as they now receive their yearly assessment with the available data pre-loaded in a questionnaire through an online portal. This enables them to log on easily and quickly with an individual password to update data and add whatever improvements they have made. Throughout the entire process, the local authority can draw on the support and personal advice of the ASPAPEL team responsible for the programme, who carry out technical visits and consult the municipal council and/or other sources, as necessary.
Assessment is carried out on the basis of 21 indicators, which are grouped into 5 blocks: collection from blue bins, supplementary collections, public information and awareness, regulation and planning, and results and traceability to final recycling. Each indicator is appraised according to pre-set scales and the maximum score that can be achieved is 100.
Town/city councils that each year reach high levels of excellence in their management of selective paper and board collection are now given special recognition, with a scoring system that results in one, two or three Blue Birdies. Depending on their results in the following years, they can keep, increase or lose the Birdies they have won.

Tu Papel 21includes a broad networking system with local public administrations and companies in the sector for the exchange of success stories, data and information on selective paper and board collection and recycling. The result of this collaboration is published every quarter in a newsletter entitled Reciclaje Al Día (Recycling Today). All past editions are available here.

History: Ten Years of Tu Papel 21   Download
The improved formula: Tu Papel 21 is renewed   Download
The 21 indicators behind Tu Papel 21: Guide for Local Groups   Download
The 21 indicators behind Tu Papel 21: Guide for Municipal Councils   Download
To participate: Rules of participation in the programme   Download
Calendar 2018  Dowload
(publications in Spanish version only)
Access to web:

European Paper Recycling Award: 
Video Blue Birdies 2017
List of local authorities Blue Birdies 2017  Descargar