Waste is not garbage: a forum was held on the separate collection of municipal waste

As many as twelve local self-government units in Međimurje, led by the City of Prelog, managed to exceed the European average in separate waste collection in less than five years. By 2020, their goal is to reach the European standard of zero waste cities and municipalities, and more than 90 percent of citizens participate in the establishment of such a high-quality waste management system. All this information was presented in his lecture by the coordinator of the Zero waste Croatia network and the manager of the waste management program in the Green Action, Marko Košak, at the public forum “Separate waste collection (and reuse of objects)”, held on September 30 in the Amphitheater of three faculties in Split. The forum was organized by the City of Split and Association for Nature, Environment and Sustainable Development Sunce as part of the Waste is not Garbage project.

As one of the authors of the Analysis of the Waste Management System of Donje Međimurje, Marko Košak spoke about the way to establish a separate waste collection system in the town of Prelog and the municipalities of Donje Međimurje. As he pointed out, it all started in 2015, when a “door-to-door” separate waste collection model was established in Prelog. That year, only 22 percent of waste was collected separately, but today that share is 60 percent, which speaks of the success of implementing a sustainable waste management system. According to the data presented by the lecturer, as many as 95 percent of citizens participate in the separate waste collection in Prelog today.

The coordinator of the Zero waste Croatia network also presented the functioning of centers for the reuse of items, where citizens can bring used goods, and where consumer goods are ultimately sold at very low prices.

Ivana Krstulović Baković, head of the Environmental Law Department at Association Sunce, presented the system of separate waste collection in Split and, among other things, stated that the new Waste Management Plan envisages separate waste collection “from door to door”.

The goals of the “Waste is not garbage” project were briefly presented by the project manager, Toni Jerković from the City of Split, and the head of the working group for the implementation of the Waste Management Plan of the City of Split, Hrvoje Akrap, answered some of the questions from the audience. Akrap emphasized that the creation of the waste management system itself is a slow process that has been in the making for a long time, and it is expected that in its implementation, it will encounter misunderstandings from a certain number of citizens. This is exactly why, as all the participants concluded, education and informing citizens are extremely important.