Thanks to the Case for Zero Waste project, Sremska Mitrovica has reduced the volume of its municipal waste and developing environmental awareness among children. This project is a part of IPA programme of cross-border cooperation between Croatia and Serbia with € 676,170.24 budget.
“Building on earlier cooperation, two utility companies, Unikom of Osijek and JKP Komunalije of Sremska Mitrovica, began to shape the project, through which they learned from each other, exchanging experiences,” said Tomislav Jankovic, deputy mayor of Sremska Mitrovica, speaking about environmental protection, that is, the upgrading of the system of waste management in both towns.
The results of the project are a reduced amount of municipal waste deposited at a regional dump and more recycled PET containers, cardboard and paper.
As part of the project, JKP Komunalije secured the installation of 32 so-called recycling islands in Sremska Mitrovica for the primary sorting of waste (PET, other plastics and cardboard) and also distributed 1,000 blue bins to households, and as many compost bins.
The introduction of recycling islands and the distribution of composters will provide citizens with the infrastructure for primary waste sorting, reducing the amount of waste at the public dump by around 800 tons – up to 620 tons of biodegradable waste, around 60 tons of paper and 100 tons of plastics.
Around 40 bins for primary waste sorting were delivered to preschools, elementary and high schools, while seven mini eco islands were installed too.
“We have the chance to reduce as much as possible the overall amount of waste ending up in the landfill permanently. Awareness was raised among the population about the importance of environmental protection, and about not all garbage being for the dump, but that a large amount can be used again,” Osijek-based Unikom doo director Davor Vic believes.
“The most important thing is to find the ideal partner to guide you, who has had similar experiences earlier. That happened to us, because we found a partner that was a model to us. I believe that these results of ours should be used to encourage other, less developed local governments to use the IPA funds that are available to everyone who has a good idea for a project,” said Tamara Milkovic, PR officer for JKP Komunalije.
In addition to the visible part of the project, like bin distribution, educating pre-schoolers, schoolchildren and other citizens is important too. The execution of this project is a good example of the successful cooperation between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Croatia, said Tomislav Jankovic, deputy mayor of Sremska Mitrovica.