THERE ARE THREE TIMES MORE LANDFILS IN THE COUNTRY THAN THERE ARE SETTELEMENTS
“Hard Waste Management/Landfils Needs vs. Possibilities” was the topic of the traditional Civica Mobilitas National Forum held today, 30 June 2021 in Alexander Palace Hotel in Skopje.
The National Forum was opened by H.E. Sybille Suter Tejada, the Ambassador of Switzerland who told the audience that everybody, both the institutions and the citizens are responsible to help the nature restore itself.
“The experts propose and create solutions which are safe for everybody. On the other hand, the citizens and CSOs should be included in planning and implementation process, so that they are certain that the bodies in charge will manage the waste in a proper way”, said the Ambassador Suter Tejada.
The mayors of Kumanovo and Gostivar, as well as the representative of the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning (MZSPP) participated in the discussion.
“Are we as a society, regardless of the political affiliation, prepared to pay for the services?”, asked Maksim Dimitrievski, the Mayor of Kumanovo. He thinks that the prices of the services should be realistic, unlike the actual state of affairs. “The state and the municipalities are very bad managers in this area. If we were good, the situation would not be like this. The future is in the public-private partnership”, adder Dimitrievski.
Mayor Taravari spoke about Rusino landfill, where one of the five regional landfills in the country has been planned. He stressed that they had joined the citizens and CSPs at their protests against the location for the regional landfill. “We managed to come to a short-term solution, that the Ministry reviews the possibility to dislocate this regional landfill”.
Ana Mazneva-Karanfilova from MZSPP says that they need to discuss with the civil sector on how to raise the public awareness of the citizens. “They are the most competent on this issue and they can work a lot with the citizens”. She stressed that the investments in the waste infrastructure cost a lot of money which they partially receive from the Swiss government, and the Government will take a loan from the World Bank for the remaining funds.
The CSO representatives debated with the panelists about how much the local self-government has maintained a continuity in their hard waste management strategies, about the cooperation among the institutions, the municipalities and the civil sector when it comes to strengthening the inspection supervision in this area, how realistically they work on educating the population about the benefits of the regional landfills, etc.
Lile Popovska, a representative of the Civic Inspection Council (GIS) indicated that one of the problems is that the waste system has not been used sufficiently. She thinks that one needs bigger coordination between the inspectors at national and local level, plus, one needs to include civic control in the inspection supervision.
According to Goran Vidachek from the Macedonian-Croatian Association, there should be communal police established in order to improve the situation in the field. Konstantin Karaev from Changemakers CSO thinks that the changes in the Waste Management Law are not appropriate, especially when the control and supervision of the state are so weak.
The business idea of Zoka Energy Solution that concerns waste management and energy production from it was presented for the first time to the public. The project envisages waste collection from 74% of the territory of the state and 48% of the population, which will lead to closing of all landfills.
Laze Filipov, the company representative, stressed that in Macedonia there are three times more landfills than the number of settlements and their concept had already been functioning in a number of European cities.
Apart from Zoka Energy Solutions, Pakomak also had a presentation, discussing the recent waste selection models.
The National Forum is the first event with physical presence held this year by Civica Mobilitas program, by following all health protocols. The event was attended by 78 CSO representatives.