750 households in Novi Pazar are being provided with bins for the separate collection of recyclable waste

Novi Pazar, April 16, 2024 - Novi Pazar has received 1,500 recycling bins as a donation from the European Union. NALED will assist municipalities in establishing primary waste sorting to increase local collection rates by 20%. This initiative is part of the "BEST Waste Management Cooperation for a Sustainable Environment" project. The equipment was ceremonially handed over today under the slogan "Separate, Recycle, Preserve."

To establish an appropriate waste management system, households have initially received two bins: yellow for cans and PET packaging, and blue for paper and cardboard. The project is being implemented in collaboration with cross-border municipalities in Montenegro and in partnership with the Center for Ecotoxicological Testing. In addition to Novi Pazar, Mojkovac municipality will also receive waste separation bins, while improvements will be made in Kolašin, Bijelo Polje, and Tutin municipalities based on contracts signed with the Ministry of Finance, Sector for Contracting and Financing EU Programs.

"This is significant support for our public utility company. We know that the landfill is 25 kilometers away from the city, and this will bring significant savings. Our goal is to raise environmental awareness, consider setting up recycling centers for various materials, and we believe in expanding such projects so that other citizens will soon receive waste separation equipment in their homes," said Mayor Nihat Biševac.

Although precise data is lacking, it is estimated that in Serbia, over 90% of municipal waste is disposed of in sanitary and non-sanitary landfills, where even industrially usable waste largely ends up, even for energy purposes. Landfilling is the least favorable option for the environment, and recycling and energy treatment of waste are necessary to move towards sustainable trends.

"Every kilogram we collect and hand over to operators does not end up in the landfill, and one kilogram of plastic is worth as much as eight kilograms of wet waste, occupies less space, incurs fewer costs, and prevents landfill self-ignition in the summer months. In 2022, the state adopted the Waste Management Plan Law, and by 2031, each local self-government is expected to implement the given measures, with projects like this playing a significant role," said Suad Ljajić, Director of Economic and Financial Affairs at JKP "Gradska čistoća".

Slobodan Krstović, Director of Sustainable Development at NALED, stated that Serbia should look up to countries such as Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden, which are leaders in minimal landfilling rates, with less than 4%.

"When it comes to packaging waste, Serbia has placed 3.7 million tons of packaging on the market in the past decade, of which about 61% ended up in landfills or in nature. Cardboard and paper are the most successfully recycled, while plastic and glass are recycled the least. Serbia is currently constructing six regional landfills, alongside the development of primary selection. We will seize any opportunity as an association to assist with additional equipment and fundraising," concluded Krstović.

Serbia and Montenegro have committed to harmonizing national legislation with EU regulations and meeting the requirements of Chapter 27, which relates to environmental protection, in the process of accession to the European Union. By the end of 2029, Serbia is expected to establish separate collection of paper, metal, glass, and textiles, increase the recycling rate, and clean up illegal landfills.

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