There are 1,500 tons of municipal waste generated daily in Belgrade, most of which ends up in landfills. Recycling containers for collecting glass packaging that will be placed in 120 new locations will allow citizens to dispose of their glass waste and thus contribute to the recycling rate. Data on collected quantities will be displayed transparently, so that citizens are aware that what they put in these containers will end up in recycling, and not in a municipal landfill, said Slobodan Krstović, Sustainable Development Director in NALED, at a press conference today.
The recycling bells were installed as part of the "Glass Packaging Management in the Western Balkans" project, which is implemented by the German International Cooperation (GIZ), NALED and Sekopak, in cooperation with the City of Belgrade.
Secretary for Communal and Housing Affairs Rajko Tanasijević said that this project is an example of successful cooperation between the City of Belgrade, international organizations and the private sector.
- The City of Belgrade joined this initiative in order to increase the amount of collected glass waste and promote recycling. Due to its properties, glass is an extremely suitable material for recycling. Environment protection is one of City's priorities, and since Belgrade is the economic center of the Balkans, this makes us additionally responsible for promoting recycling - Tanasijević pointed out and added that according to official data, about 46% of glass waste is recycled in Serbia.
The City of Belgrade is the sixth city in Serbia that received recycling "bells" for the collection of glass waste as part of the "Glass Packaging Management in the Western Balkans" project, after Niš, Kragujevac, Novi Sad, Sombor and Varvarin.
General Director of Sekopak Violeta Belanović Kokir emphasized that 63% of packaging waste is recycled annually in Serbia, i.e. about 270,000 tons.
- This is certainly not enough and we need to increase the infrastructure capacity for collecting municipal packaging waste. Recycling bells are installed with the aim of citizens performing primary selection and separating packaging at the point of origin. In the last year, we have placed 600 containers in five cities and collected 600 tons of glass, one ton per container, which is the average of the European Union - stated Belanović Kokir.
Sanela Veljkovski, Project Manager at GIZ, said that within Belgrade, containers have so far been placed in New Belgrade and in Zemun, and expressed the hope that by the end of the year they will be found in other locations as well. She stated that it is a regional project, which, apart from Serbia, also includes North Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- The goal is to manage glass packaging in the correct way and establish the profitability of its collection. In the past year, more than 1,000 tons of glass were collected, and in addition to Belgrade, municipalities in Sarajevo and Skopje also joined the project earlier, which will help us to compare the level of collection in the capital cities of Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina - concluded Veljkovski .