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Zagreb Environmentalists Demand from City Hall to Focus on Waste Recycling, not Incineration

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Zelena akcija (Friends of the Earth Croatia) and Parkticipacija initiative demanded, in a performance held on August 28, 2014 in front of Zagreb City Hall, changes of the proposed Waste Management Plan (WMP) of the City of Zagreb. They believe that the existing proposal pushes Zagreb to economic ruin and health and environmental catastrophe.

Activists of Zelena Akcija and Parkticipacija in front of Zagreb City Hall (Photo Zelena akcija)Activists of Zelena Akcija and Parkticipacija in front of Zagreb City Hall (Photo Zelena akcija)

Zelena Akcija and Parkticipacija want a WMP that would be based on the principle of respect for waste management hierarchy and would establish a sustainable waste management system that would fully eliminate any form of waste incineration, allowing the citizens to focus on sorting, recycling and composting, activities that both ensure environmentally friendly waste disposal and savings of limited resources.

“The WMP needs to propose efficient measure that would exclude incineration of available resources, promote recycling and allow the citizens to manage their monthly waste disposal bills by sorting of the waste and composting of organic waste at home”, the two associations say in a joint statement for the public.

The activists note that the proposed WMP was not preceded by analysis of feasibility of the system for prevention of creation, re-use, sorting and recycling of waste, nor by proper environmental impact assessment of the planned incinerator. They add that the focus on the costly incinerator facility, estimated at 2.75 billion HRK (83% of the total proposed investment in the waste management system in Zagreb), results in a situation in which much more important elements of waste management are neglected.

“It is a proven fact that incinerators are energy inefficient and have extremely negative effects on human health and the environment. At the same time, no epidemiological or eco-toxic analysis are provided for in the Strategic Environment Assessment Study for the WMP”, Zelena Akcija and Parkticipacija say.

The activists demand a reform of waste sorting practices along the “door to door” principle, increasing the quantities of sorted and recycled waste, as well as greater attention to biowaste, a component that accounts for one third of the total communal waste in the city.

They also hold the position that citizens need to be better educated about the possibilities offered by composting of the biowaste they produce and emphasize the need for measures of advanced recycling and alternative disposal of the mill collected in the waste water processing facility. Such activities, according to activists, could reduce the total amount of waste in Zagreb by up to 95 percent. (Source: Zelena Akcija)

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