Working on / Promoting recycling


The Municipal Tu Papel 21 programme


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. 

We are opening registration to take part in the Pajaritas Azules 2023 programme that forms part of Tu papel 21 – Municipalities, directed at local authorities of municipalities of more than 50,000 inhabitants and which offers technical advice, recognition and visibility in the continuous improvement of municipal management of selective paper and board collection.

Local authorities wishing to take part in the programme for the first time should register and accept the entry rules at The next step is to complete the questionnaire for annual assessment of the 21 indicators. Local authorities that have participated in previous editions are required to update their data and include the improvements they have made. The deadline for submitting applications is 31st July 2022.

In this new edition of the programme, it is still an essential requisite to monitor the level of unwanted materials in selective paper and board collections and to keep a log of those levels

The project’s technical team is available to provide advice to local authorities and concessionaires of waste collection and recovery services to help them implement the procedure, which consists of monitoring and keeping systematic logs of material quality data to detect any possible incidents and apply suitable corrective and improvement measures.

If you want to know more about the programme connect your audio and click here

All programme documentation and the revised guide to the indicators can be downloaded from the section below.  TO FIND OUT MORE... 


Forty-five local authorities (town councils and groups of municipalities) from twelve autonomous communities/regions received recognition for the excellence of their selective paper and board collection management in the 2021 edition of Pajaritas Azules.
By region, Andalusia and Madrid lead the field with eight prize winners each, followed by Catalonia with six and Castilla & León with five. Following them came Baleares and Basque Country with three and Aragon and Castilla-La Mancha and La Rioja with two each. Canary Islands, Comunidad Foral de Navarra, Extremadura, GAlicia, Asturias y Murcia with one each.

The forty-five award-winning local authorities account for nearly ten million inhabitants, whose enthusiastic participation in selective collection is one of the fundamental keys to success.
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 2016, ASPAPEL renewed its renowned and prestigious Tu papel 21 certification programme, following ten years offering municipalities technical advice, recognition and visibility in the continuous improvement of municipal management of selective paper and board collection.
In Brussels in 2017, it won the European Paper Recycling Award, which rewards innovative projects designed to promote paper recycling in Europe. This prestigious biennial award, organised by the European Paper Recycling Council, recognises the work and commitment of the local authorities and the citizens of municipalities participating in the programme.

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.

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   Dowload
(publications in Spanish version only)

Access to web:

European Paper Recycling Award: