On the Green Phone of Croatia, 2707 citizens‘ calls were received from 1 January to 31 December 2015. Members of the Green Phone Network have prepared a call for analysis under the “Partnership for the Environment” project funded by the European Union and co-financed by the Office for Association of the Government of the Republic of Croatia.
Green telephones receive environmental issues from all over Croatia to a unique number 072 123 456 for Croatia.
The largest number of calls from the total refers to the category of waste, up 37% (996) applications, thus continuing the trend in previous years.
However, unlike in previous years when the bulk of this type of calls concerned the inappropriate disposal of waste or illegal waste landfill during this period, the number of inquiries about the possibility of separate disposal of certain types of waste was increased as well as questions about the possibilities of increasing the number of containers and cans collection and ultimately the citizens are interested in where the separately collected waste is completed.
We assume that this is the reason for increasing the level of awareness among citizens about the need for proper disposal of waste and its separation into different types.
Of the other categories, there are most entries within the category of greenery (293 applications) and water (270 entries).
Within the category of greenery, the most common applications of citizens were from urban areas, regarding the maintenance of public green areas, the concrete felling of trees in urban parks, alleys, etc. Very often it is about regular maintenance, but as citizens are not familiar with the plans for regular maintenance of city enterprises that take care of public green areas, their concern is justified by our court.
We believe that the basic omission of the company that cares about public green areas is their lack of transparency in the work or providing information to citizens about plans to maintain public green areas. In most counties within this category, there are also a large number of plots of land on which ambrosia grows.
Although the Network is a “sea” and “land” association, common problems, within the category of water, are reported by residents of all counties referring to illegal dumping of septic tanks and discharge of fecal waters. Also, citizens respond to unusual black, greasy spots you notice in rivers, seas and lakes.
Most of the Green Phone activists solved their work without direct co-operation with the callers, pointing to two possible problems: a lack of knowledge and information among citizens and their “fear” of the consequences of the call.
The latter goes in favor of the fact that there is still more than 50% of the calls on Green Phone anonymously.
The largest number of calls arrives at the Green Phone in Green Action, as many as 1115 entries.
The number of calls on the Green Phone of the Sunce Association in 2015 was on the increase compared to the 2014 period – 337 entries were recorded.
As is the case with the Green Phone Network, the most reported cases refer to the category of waste – up to 45%. From this data, we can conclude that the problem of waste is not stagnant but is growing, which we find extremely worrying. However, unlike previous years when the number of reported cases from this category was mainly related to wild landfills, the situation now is significantly different, which means that citizens recognize the importance of the separate waste collection, which is a major step forward in solving this problem.
With the exception of waste, a large number of calls come from illegal construction (9%) and greenery (8%). In the case of illegal construction, the largest number of applications refers to the settlement of the coast, which is a special problem that the coastal population is facing every day and that is a big issue, mainly due to maritime goods which would have to be special according to the positive legislation of the Republic of Croatia protected. The collapse of the coast is a major problem that needs to be addressed urgently by the competent institutions of the Republic of Croatia. On the other hand, green-related calls are mainly related to park maintenance, tree trimming, etc.
The Green Telephone of the Sunce Association, since its foundation in 1999, covers the area of the two counties – Split-Dalmatia and Dubrovnik-Neretva. In this period up until today, the Sunce Association on the Green Phone received 3049 cases, with a strong tendency to grow in the last five years.
The Sunce’s legal team working on the Green Phone Service is of the opinion that environmental co-operation should be strengthened by the cooperation of the citizens themselves as applicants and competent institutions at the local level, with particular emphasis being placed on the municipal community of local communities.
The content of this release is the exclusive responsibility of the Association for the Protection of Nature, the Environment and Sustainable Development Sunce, and can in no way be considered to reflect the views of the European Union and the Government of the Republic of Croatia for NGOs.