Only a community informed and aware of the danger of PLASTIC pollution makes possible and determines the success of a project and the continuity of the actions carried out. Quoting Robert Swan, "The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it..." it is very important now more than ever to act immediately and be responsible for the products consumed, the waste generated, which if continued to be mismanaged represent valuable wasted resources.
In this sense, one of the basic activities planned by AO Association for Waste Recovery within the project "Solid waste management with community involvement" implemented within the EU Local Grants Program,"Be the change: Engaged citizens - Sustainable communities!", launched through the project "Empowerment of citizens in the Republic of Moldova" (2019-2021), financed by the European Union and implemented by the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ), consists of organizing informative and educational sessions for opinion leaders, an activity that aims to increase the level of knowledge regarding priorities in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development among children/students, respectively increasing the share of students who receive education and training in the field of waste management. In carrying out these seminars, we start from the idea that children, who will later be informed and trained by educators, teachers and librarians, are the adults and decision-makers of tomorrow, and the attitude and education they receive today will influence their behavior in the future .
Unfortunately, today, according to the data published by the Environmental Protection Inspectorate, exactly 90 % of the generated waste ends up in the landfill. Relating these data to the number and surface area of non-compliant landfills in the country, the separate collection of plastic is an effective practice in reducing the pressure generated on landfills, this if we consider that 1 ton of plastic bottles collected separately for recycling is equivalent to reducing the area of the landfill by 7.4 m3 .
As a result, after official release of the project from October, in November we started a round of 6 informative-educational sessions for opinion leaders, organized in each of the localities benefiting from the project (Străseni municipality, Scoreni village, Lozova commune, Vorniceni village, Negrești village and Sireti village) with the aim of improving their knowledge in the field of selective waste collection practices and the benefits for the environment and health, including good practices for disseminating this information among students in public educational institutions. A total of 100 opinion leaders were informed and trained about the importance of waste sorting and recycling for the environment and health, including the presentation of useful practices for stimulating students' critical thinking regarding eco-responsible changes in the school and in the neighborhood.
Based on the training and information methodology made available to the trainers, based on interactive training tools (informative videos, samples of raw material obtained through recycling, etc.), priority emphasis was placed on:
- Developing the capacity of teachers and librarians to promote students' interest in the issue of waste and recycling, but also to inform them about these issues;
- Increasing the educational impact of environmental activities on students by promoting active educational tools that will develop green skills;
- Promoting civic spirit in a practical way, by encouraging and guiding teachers and librarians to organize together with students various instructional-educational activities regarding environmental protection (e.g. drawing exhibitions, photo exhibitions, exhibitions of creative objects from recyclable waste, selective waste collection campaigns).
"Don't be the man in the bottle! Save yourself!” is the title of the campaign identified together with the opinion leaders, who have also undertaken to disseminate and be the messengers of the project throughout the town. Next, through opinion leaders, they interact with children, students and their parents within the activities planned according to the project. The launch of the solid recyclable waste collection campaign was officially established on March 18, 2021 on the occasion of Global Recycling Day, a campaign that will be totaled on June 5, 2021, on Environment Day, an event planned to be celebrated for the first time and in the localities of the Străseni district in a special way (contests, dances, exhibitions) and of course the awarding of prizes for the most active and responsible environmental ambassadors in the locality.
AO "Association for Waste Recovery" is the beneficiary of the Local Grants Program of the European Union and implements the project "Management of solid waste with the involvement of the community" in 6 localities in Străseni r.
The local grants program is launched on the basis of the EU Single Support Framework, granted for the Republic of Moldova (2017-2020) within the European Neighborhood Instrument, through the project "Empowering the citizens of the Republic of Moldova" (2019-2021), financed by european union and implemented by German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ). The project partner for the Central Development Region is Association for Efficient and Responsible Governance AGER in partnership with the Public Association Agency for Regional Development "Habitat" (AO ADR "Habitat").