Separate municipal waste collection in South Central Bulgaria - mission possible
The Municipality of Zlatograd is an example of local authority actively engaged in optimization of the existing waste management system without increasing the municipal waste fees. This is a challenge for the local authority given the fact that the minimum wage and social security payments are increasing gradually, the waste collection and transportation costs are increasing as well as the depreciation of garbage trucks and the necessary funds for repairs. To be able to achieve its goals the Municipality was successful in receiving funding from the OP Environment 2014 – 2020 for installation for composting and preliminary treatment of waste at the amount of EUR 3.5 mln. The waste collection is based on door to door’ principle. The Municipality provides waste bins / bags for separate collection and transports waste to recycling site; establishes annual time schedule for collection; manages communication (including mandatory instructions for separate collection) through website.
The municipality monitors waste collection, measuring the quantity of waste collected by the households and issuing bonds accordingly. The waste generated by businesses is monitored by an external company that shares with the municipality information on waste quality and quantity.
To guarantee the success of the waste management system, the municipality is engaging the local community in public discussions of opportunities of common interest and raising awareness through communication campaigns
OP Environment granted EUR 3.5 mln of public funding for investment in composting and preliminary waste treatment to the municipality in 2017. Furthermore, the municipality established effective waste management infrastructure with interest free loan from MOEW special fund of EUR 200.000.
Evidence of success
As a result of this programme, the waste disposal on the landfill dropped in 2019 by 20 % compared to year 2013 from 2600 tons/year in 2013 to 2100 tons/year in 2019. The positive impact on the environment is demonstrated by reduction of illegal dumping of waste by 50% for the same period.
In order to successfully transfer this Action in their Regions, partner need to set out effective awareness raising campaigns, be creative in building upon existing funding programs to reach the targets and objectives in their waste management plans.
Potential for learning or transfer
Just in terms of household waste alone, each person in Europe is currently producing, on average, half of tonne of such waste. Although in Bulgaria this value is a bit lower still only 40 % of it is reused or recycled and like in some countries of EU, more than 80% still goes to landfill (source: Environmental Data Centre on Waste, Eurostat). Taking this into account, it is relevant both form an environmental and economic point of view to support waste management systems contributing to reduction of waste going to landfill.
The effectiveness of waste management and Efficiency of waste management spending is the combination which can contribute to reduced waste going to landfill and limited increase of waste management fees at the local and regional level.
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