Published On: 12/02/2020

The alternative to waste incineration – separation and recycling is not a utopia. The municipality of Zlatograd has been implementing door-to-door collection of municipal waste for 4 years. Each household splits their garbage into different bags that are collected on certain days of the week. Household statistics are kept at each collection – waste delivered or not separately collected. Summarized information at the end of the year set the amount of the municipal waste charge. Non-participating households are threatened with a higher garbage fee. The Waste Management Act stipulates an annual increase in the amount of annual deductions per tonne of landfilled waste, which seriously affects the amount of municipal waste tax, especially in municipalities that do not collect separately.

4 years after the introduction of the innovative system for Bulgaria, Zlatograd reports a significant decrease in the total waste stream generated as well as the amount going for final disposal. As a result, this leads to an increase in the operational lifetime of the regional landfill and a reduction in the cost of waste treatment, said Deputy Mayor of Zlatograd Elmira Pehlivanova to According to her, the system allowed maintaining a socially acceptable amount of municipal waste tax.

All that has been achieved so far is the result of continuous awareness and information campaigns on the benefits and methods of waste separation at the site of their generation, said Pehlivanov. In her opinion, direct contact with the members of each household is important. An important factor for success is the strict control, as well as compliance with the collection schedule by the municipal unit.

“It is not difficult to collect waste separately. On the contrary, this process can bring order, both to every household and to waste management in the municipality. It makes us feel proud that we are contributing to nature conservation and providing a cleaner and better place to live” said Zlatograd’s Deputy Mayor.

Translator: Valentina Vagge