Karepovac landfill – A big problem and a part of the bigger problem and an indicator of irresponsibility!

What danger presents the Karepovac landfill, unfortunately, aroused many citizens during the fires that polled the eastern parts of the city of Split. Inexhaustible stench, information on the emissions of toxic gases and the possibility of explosions reminded us of this non-sanitary landfill located in the heart of Split. The Association Sunce, numerous environmental organizations, as well as other civil society organizations, not only from Split, but from all over Croatia, warn of the need for rehabilitation. The EU also warns that the Waste Directive prescribes the closure of Karepovac, as well as all such (similar) landfills by the end of 2018.

However, Karepovac can not be seen and considered as a separate case whose restoration will solve the problem. When addressing the problem of Karepovac, it is necessary to approach the organization of waste management based on the priority of waste management, which is:

  1. prevention of waste generation,
  2. preparation for reuse,
  3. recycling,
  4. other procedures recover eg energy recovery and
  5. waste disposal, or disposal


What is worrisome is the fact that in Split, as well as in many other cities in Croatia, this order of priority is applied backwards, from the 5th point, that is, we have been excellently perfected in waste disposal.

We also plan for improvement in Step 4. This is how the Waste Management Center in Lećevica is planned to produce fuel from waste for energy use, which will then be burned in incinerators or cement plants

On the other hand, we are not preventing the creation of waste and in Karepovec, among other things, the plastic cups that Split schools daily throw away, raising new generations of consumers. We do not separate paper, glass, metal and compulsory separate collection of bio-waste is far from the Moon as well. What is particularly worrying is the burning of its hazardous waste in Karepovac, because there is no adequate system for gathering hazardous waste from citizens in Split.

And now that we come back to all the legal obligations that we have so well transferred, but they are left on paper alone. From the Urban Waste Management Plan for the period 2008-2015 almost nothing was done. Thus, although the Plan provided for a separate collection of bio-waste, these containers were not installed and no compost was even thought. No mobile collection system for hazardous waste was established. The Green Islands were not completed and the system of separate collection of municipal waste from door to door was conducted in several pilot projects but without the real will of its implementation. If we take into account that Split is the largest generator of waste in the County, it is clear how much of this is a problem. The new Waste Management Plan of the City of Split has been drafted but not yet adopted. However, it contains many flaws that the Association Sunce warned about during public debate.

The EU Directives and the Sustainable Waste Management Act provide for the following: By 2020, ensuring the preparation for reuse and recycling of paper, metal, plastic and glass from households, at a minimum share of 50% of the waste mass; by 2016, reducing the share of biodegradable waste deposited at landfills by 50% as well as a whole range of waste prevention, separation and recycling provisions.

For those who do not believe that this can be achieved in Split, once again, the Association Sunce was led by representatives of the City of Split and several municipal companies, including representatives of Split Čistoća d.o.o. in a study visit to cities that have achieved significant results in a separate collection of waste. Namely, recognizing the importance of conserving natural resources and the value of raw materials from waste, many cities around the world have turned to the concept of “Nil Waste”. Visit to the Veneto region of Italy with 4.8 million inhabitants has provided insight into the most successful examples of responsible waste management based on principles: reduce waste generation, reuse and recycle. Namely, this region is predominant in Italy in responsible waste management, and as many as 77% of municipalities (65% of the population) are covered by a separate collection of waste by the “door-to-door” system. There are 200 recycled companies in this Italian region, while only a few in Croatia. In the region, there is also the town of Ponte nelle Alpi with 8,500 inhabitants collecting separately 91,3% of waste and Treviso with 80,000 inhabitants and 85% separately by collecting waste.

We can say if the Italians can do it, we can do it! Therefore, on this occasion, we call on this eventuality, responsible in the City of Split, to showcase the problem of the Karepovac landfill and the waste collection system in the city so that we can avoid the ecocide in the future, who dashed dangerously to all the Spaniards before a couple of days.

Association for Nature, Environment and Sustainable Development Sunce.

Contact person:

Gabrijela Medunić-Orlić

Tel: 091 536 08 37

e-mail: [email protected]