Prevention of urban pollution through separate waste collection and inspections
About this good practice
The good practice demonstrates an approach applied by Sofia Municipality Inspectorate for separate collection of packaging waste, which the commercial sites generate as a result of their activity. This waste is different from household waste and is collected separately on the territory of the municipality.
The Sofia inspectorate is a department at the municipality which monitors the commercial sites and their functioning. At each newly opened commercial site, being a generator of packaging and other waste is given a prescription for their separate collection and transfer for recycling. The large cartons, boxes and other waste are to be brought in the smallest possible volume. The separately collected waste is to be delivered to an organization for recovery of packaging waste or to persons holding a permit, complex permit or registration document issued under the Waste Management Act. The sites are obliged to keep records and documents (contracts, weighing notes, etc.), which certify the delivery of the separately collected waste and to present them to the control bodies upon request of the inspection body.
To control the retail outlets for packaging waste a register of sites that are generators of packaging waste has been created and is maintained by the inspectorate. The register is open, and information from the inspections is entered on a daily basis.
The register is regularly updated, sites that have ceased activity are removed, as well as newly opened sites are added.
To achieve the goals, the human resource includes the employees of Sofia Inspectorate. In total 340 inspectors are working on the field covering the 24 administrative districts of Sofia. This is the control structure of Sofia Municipality, directly subordinated to the Mayor of the municipality.
Evidence of success
The analyzes of the results from the inspections and of the received reports prove that the implementation of systematic control helps the retail outlets in the process of proper separate collection of their packaging waste, the disposal of waste in the household containers is avoided and so is the harm on the environment.
Results have been achieved in the central districts of Sofia, where the inspections show that the violations are going down in number on average about 30% per year.
Potential for learning or transfer
The difficulties in implementing the good practice are seen in every city or region which is changing business and citizens’ behaviour towards responsible collection and disposal of waste.
The practice demonstrates an approach applied by municipal authority being successful in convincing people of the benefits of separate collection and thus increase the percentage of separately collected packaging and sent for recycling.