Reducing the amount of landfilled municipal waste by separating the biowaste
Association for Separate Waste Collection of the Ponitrie Region has been established in 2005. In 2014, it launched a successful project “Separate Collection and Recovery of Biodegradable Waste” for more than 80,000 inhabitants of 57 member municipalities within the Nitra Self-Governing Region. Prior to the start of the Project, each municipality has dealt with waste management on its own, often in a very expensive way. This fact and the pressure of legislation forced stakeholders to negotiate and cooperate in the field of waste separation. Project includes logistics centre; composting plant; cars and machines; 75,000 bins for households; weighing and waste monitoring technology; large-volume containers and glass containers.
The Project addresses the problem of the waste management in the member municipalities in a unified manner. Plastics, paper and glass from households are transported to the logistics centre. From there, they are transported to several Slovak and foreign processors. Biodegradable waste is crushed and modified by composting in own composting plant and then it is returned back to the municipalities (e.g. for treatment of public areas). Collection system uses special technology that can weight each container and send the data online within few minutes – this is the base for “pay-as-you-throw” system.
Interested parties: company responsible for waste collection (Association); service payer (Producer Responsibility Organization) and final users (citizens).
Project was funded (95 % EU funds, 5% own resources) only at its beginning by reimbursing the equipment costs. Now the Project runs independently without the support of the funds. Handling with bio-waste is paid by citizens as a part of a fee for municipal waste. Project is ensured by 20 employees.
Evidence of success
Prior to the start of the Project, the average separation level in member municipalities was 14% (from 8 to 20%), while the current average is 46% - the highest share in Slovakia (Slovakia´s average is 22%). In 2017, bio-waste constituted about 29% of the total volume of municipal waste. Project also launched very good cooperation within local community (willingness of people to separate the waste, know-how on communication among self-government, municipalities, etc.).
The main challenge was to consolidate the views and opinions of all members on the operation of the Project and to find suitable parcel for construction of the facilities in the centre of the Association.
Potential for learning or transfer
The objectives are achieved also with sufficient awareness of the population. Various ways of awareness raising in the environmental field are being used, starting with the education of the youngest generation in kindergartens. Primary schools and kindergartens have a great interest in this kind of education. Other regions of Slovakia, whose representatives also visited us, showed interest in our project.
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