Waste Sorting Station Launched in Sarajevo. Recycling Equipment donated by the EU

On Thursday, 25 January 2007, the new Waste Sorting Station located at the Sarajevo Smiljevici Landfill was officially opened by Mr. Zlatko Petrović, Minister of Urban Planing and Environmental Protection of Sarajevo Canton, and Mr. Kjartan Björnsson, Head of Section for Economic Development and Natural Resources of the Delegation of the European Commission to BiH.

The European Union donated equipment for recycling worth 560,000 Euro, while the Public Utility Company RAD invested 60,000 Euro to build the Waste Sorting Station. The recycling equipment for the Waste Sorting Station includes a Grab Crane, which loads waste into a special machine which opens plastic bags. The waste then travels on a conveyor track with sorting stations, where staff manually separate paper and carton, plastic containers such as bottles, and plastic bags. Separate chutes help collect these different types of waste, while a magnetic separator removes tins. The separated waste is then compressed and is ready to be transported to companies who can recycle the material, e.g. paper factories.

Additional equipment will introduce source separation, where citizens can deposit their sorted waste into special containers for paper, plastic and metal. There are 150 Drop-off Stations, mostly in Novo Sarajevo Municipality.

In addition to the equipment, EU support includes a public awareness campaign on recycling, so as to educate and motivate the citizens of Sarajevo to participate in recycling activities in their city.

Mr. Selim Babić, Director of RAD, stated that the new Waste Sorting Station is a first in BiH and in the Region, and is a great step forward for Sarajevo Canton. He stressed that proper waste sorting and recycling can reduce the volume of waste for landfills by between 20 and 30%.

Minister Petrović urged citizens to become actively engaged in the process of waste sorting and recycling, so as to achieve a better quality of life.

Mr. Björnsson, of the European Commission Delegation to BiH, thanked all the partners for their excellent co-operation over the past two years and noted that this initiative is one of four pilot projects supported by the EU throughout the country. He stressed that the goal is financially sustainable recycling operations, though this is not yet feasible in BiH due to the lack of economic instruments, and urged for advances in the necessary legal framework. Investing in waste sorting and recycling protects the environment, which benefits citizens and tourists alike.

For further information, please visit:
www.geocities.com/recyclingbih

or contact the EU project office (WRPPBiH):
Jasmina Andrić
Waste Recycling Pilot Project
Mobile: (387) 61 489 879
Tel/fax: (387) 33 613 112
Email: recyclingbih@yahoo.com