Sunce and waste management in Split Dalmatia county
Because of the frequent questions and comments that NGOs are just talking about and not offering solutions and even the direct reflection of the Sunce Association, we remind ourselves of the fact that we have been working in the last 15 years to contribute to the establishment of sustainable waste management, primarily in the city of Split and the Split-Dalmatia County.
If a relatively small organization, whose waste management activities are just one of the priorities, managed to secure the resources and the framework of its own capabilities and external circumstances and the limitations, one wonders when would the responsible ones ultimately realize about sustainable waste management and finally go in that direction…
UNDERSTANDING THE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IS A LEGAL LIABILITY WITH A DEMONSTRATION OF MUNICIPAL PLANS OF WASTE MANAGEMENT TO THE CITIZENS
After the Sunce has sued and won against the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Nature before the Aarhus Convention Council in Brussels, public involvement in the process of adopting urban and municipal waste management plans has become an explicit legal obligation (included in the Waste Management Act).
BOXES FOR COLLECTING PAPER
We introduced a separate paper collection system through paper boxes. The idea and design of the paper box came from our member and one of the founders, Mr. Tomislav Lerotić.
The first boxes were created by the Sunce Association, and today several companies collect paper in this way not only in Split but also in other cities of Croatia. It is estimated that almost 20,000.00 tons of paper were collected in Split for nearly 15 years without any support from the city or county.
It should be borne in mind that this paper did not end at Karepovec, that is, a quarter of the annual amount of rubbish that is deferred to Karepovac, not to mention jobs and saving natural resources. At least the collection of paper is approached systematically and with the support of the responsible ones!
COLLECTION OF HAZARD WASTE
In schools, kindergartens, city districts we have set up 36 tanks for separate battery collection from the household. In addition to reducing the amount of hazardous waste at Karepovac, in this way, we have contributed to education and information on the importance of the separate collection of hazardous waste from households.
CHANGING THE PARADIGM
Until recently, the main excuse for not introducing separate waste collection was that Split and Dalmatian citizens are Mediterraneans and as such have no culture of separation of waste.
The only research of public change on this issue was carried out by Sunce and the same has proved to be the opposite of the fact that the disagreement is a main obstacle to the separate collection indicates the absence of a system!
We have created seven compost sites in the interested schools of the Split-Dalmatia County. Considering that the school is often a problem for further maintenance of the compost site, in 2014. we launched a composting education program which has as one of the goals to introduce composting in the curriculum of elementary schools and to keep it permanently involved in the schools.
EDUCATION OF SCHOOL CHILDREN
More than 5,000 children and over 200 teachers participated in our educational events related to the topic of waste. The main problem in the implementation of education is the lack of separate collection systems because children are asking you: Where are the containers you are talking about?
For the fifth consecutive year, a program of socially useful learning for students of Natural Science School of Split has been implemented, and they carry out professional and final practice on activities related to the topic of waste and on topics such as waste management, composting, and plastic use.
PREVENTING THE MAKING OF WASTE – FIRST PRIORITY IN WASTE MANAGEMENT
We conducted two surveys, first among educators, and then among parents to determine why and in what size, city-based kindergartens use one-time plastic glasses.
We came to the defeating results that 6000 to 8000 plastic glasses a day from Split kindergartens end up in the overcrowded Karepovac landfill. After that we carried out educational and informational workshops. So far, 3 kindergartens have given up on this environmentally irresponsible and unsustainable practice that sends the wrong message to the children.
EDUCATION AND INFORMATION OF CITIZENS
Numerous posters, leaflets, stickers on separate collection of containers were created (because of these we were in court for disturbing the communal order!), Lectures for citizens, teachers etc. The teaching materials and tools for waste education, interactive CD- ROM and the Waste Collection manual.
The composting leaflet was distributed to the citizens of Brač and to 27,000 households in Split. The leaflet “We know where to put our waste” from 2012 on Earth Day was distributed to 40000 households in Split together with a utility compensation payment. Exhibitions and numerous public events were held in connection with the topic of waste.
Through the Green Phone we provided over 1000 tips, information on the topic of waste management!
AWARENESS AND LOBBING OF THE RESPONSIBLE ONES
Numerous meetings with representatives of cities and municipalities, roundtables, forums, lectures were held. We have participated in public discussions on waste management plans as well as relevant environmental impact studies.