Yoana Hristova, Deputy Mayor of Sofia Municipality gives an interview into the weekly newsline from ACR+ about the Municipality's activities regarding sustainable resources management.
ACR+ is an international network of cities and regions sharing the aim of promoting a sustainable resource management and accelerating the transition towards a circular economy on their territories and beyond. http://www.acrplus.org/index.php/en/
" ACR+: "What are your current priorities on your territory? Are you focusing on specific aspects?"
Y.H.: Sofia Municipality is working to improve resource management on its territory and to boost circular economy. Other priorities include the sustainable development of green areas, the adaptation to climate change in link with the promotion of energy efficiency, and ensuring a good air quality
ACR+: "Are you then developing specific actions in link with these priorities?"
Y.H.: Three projects are coming to my mind. The first one concerns the extension of the system for separate collection of food waste and green waste. This is carried on by Han Bogrov, the municipal enterprise operating the installation for biological treatment. The installation is divided into 2 separate lines. One for food waste processing, through anaerobic digestion and biogas production, and the other one for green waste processing and production of high quality compost.
We are also one of the partners of the Interreg Europe project "European regions toward Circular Economy" (CircE), which was approved at the end of 2016. This project, led by the Lombardy Region, aims at increasing the capability of the partners' policy instruments to steer economy towards a circular model. In the first phase every Partner is intended to work on the main relevant economic sectors, identifying opportunities to develop circular economy. In the second phase the project will directly involve the political level to integrate the main findings into selected policy instruments, modifying or reorienting them.
The last project that I can mention is the completion of a feasibility study, as the first phase of the project "Establishment of two municipal centres (Eco-parks) for reparation of old equipment and furniture and preparation for reuse".
ACR+: "And you are also working on the construction of a modern integrated system for refuse-derived fuel (RDF) utilisation. Could you tell us more about it?"
Y.H.: Indeed, we are currently developing Phase III "Construction of installation for combined energy production in Sofia with RDF utilization" of the "Integrated System of Municipal Waste Treatment Facilities" project. It is foreseen that this new integrated system will generate heat and electricity for the needs of the district heating system in Sofia.
Phase I and Phase II of the project have already been successfully implemented. Phase I saw the construction of a landfill for non-hazardous waste, the installation of the biological treatment "Han Bogrov" for bio and green waste. The Waste Water Treatment Plant and a pilot project for separate collection of waste were also concluded. The following step, Phase II, focused on the design and construction of mechanical - biological treatment plant with RDF production. Regarding the current Phase III, Sofia Municipality received a support from the European Investment Bank and will file an Application form, together with the required studies and analyses, for funding under the Operational program "Environment" 2014 - 2020. "