On Friday, October 2, the project launch conference was held in the Străseni City Hall "Solid waste management with community involvement". The project is implemented by AO Association for Waste Recovery within the EU Local Grants Program,"Be the change: Engaged citizens - Sustainable communities!", launched through the project "Empowering citizens in the Republic of Moldova" (2019-2021), financed by the European Union and implemented by the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ). The activities of this project will be carried out between September 2020 and August 2021 in 6 localities of the Străseni district (Străseni municipality, Scoreni village, Lozova commune, Vorniceni village, Negrești village and Sireți village). The association aims to contribute directly to increasing community awareness and participation in order to reduce the impact of waste on the environment and health, with the following priority objectives:
- Evaluation of citizens' perception of the role and benefits of selective waste collection and how much the citizen's relationship with public institutions matters in ensuring this process;
- Increasing the level of knowledge regarding priorities in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development among students;
- Stimulating the civic and participatory spirit of citizens in solving the problem of waste within the community;
- Organizing and ensuring citizens' access to information and data about the benefits of organizing selective waste collection.
During the conference, there were representatives of the beneficiary LPAs through the project, representatives of the community (educators, teachers, pupils, students), NGOs, sanitation operators, who later, during the implementation of the project, will actively participate in the information events planned and will represent opinion leaders and messengers of a sustainable waste management model.
Experts in the field were also invited to the event, to share their experience and best practices regarding "The role of the community in solid waste management: problems and solutions".
The conference was opened with a welcome speech from Mrs Alas REVENCO, Project Director of the Association for Efficient and Responsible Governance, who presented the objectives and mission of the Local Grants Program of the European Union "Be the change: Engaged citizens – sustainable communities", whose beneficiary is also the AO Association for Waste Recovery and Mrs Valentina CASIAN, Mayor of Străseni, the host of the event, who reiterated the importance of such projects for the community and the openness to actively participate in its proper implementation.
Ms Aurelia BAHNARU, project director, presented the objectives, activities and results expected through the implementation of the project, declaring that this is an important step in creating the necessary premises for solving the problem of waste in the beneficiary localities by practicing the selective collection of waste, especially plastic waste and through composting of organic mass in households. "In carrying out this project, we start from the fact that the production of waste cannot be avoided, but the economic value of a product that has become waste can be recovered and the impact on the environment, health and climate change can certainly be reduced to a minimum", declared Mrs. Bahnaru.
The key role in organizing an effective waste management process belongs to the LPAs, which in accordance with the provisions of the legal framework are responsible for creating a selective waste collection system. During the event, Mr Igor ŞEREMET, Lawyer, university lecturer, environmental legal consultant wanted to specify "Awareness is the final process of the cumulative and active involvement of all the main actors in waste management (LPAs, municipal operators, authorized private individuals, waste producers such as natural persons and legal entities). Therefore, the level of assuming the specific responsibilities of each actor in an integrated waste management process demonstrates the purposes of awareness".
A successful project in the field of waste management is directly conditioned by the provision of the necessary resources not only for separate collection, but directly for their collection, transportation, sorting and recovery by an authorized operator. For this reason, the event was also invited by Mr Eugene BUTUCEA, Director of "Salubris Grup" SRL, which provides this service for more than 2 years for several localities in Strășeni. "The success of such a project is real, as well as people's willingness to learn how and why it is good to selectively collect recyclable waste and compost the organic ones. Certainly, over time, the volume of waste reaching the landfill can be reduced by more than 50 %, without much investment but with important benefits for the environment and the health of the residents of Strășeni", Mr. Butucea specified.
Of the six pilot localities selected by AVD, three are also included in the activities planned by the Association of Environmental Journalists and Ecological Tourism, a fact that gives us the opportunity to cooperate in informing and raising citizens' awareness in the field of waste management. "I wish we could change the perception of waste, both solid and liquid, because now they all end up polluting the air, soil, groundwater. I hope that the AVD initiative will be only the first step, and later these communities will be an example for others. We recently created the Facebook group "Straseni, mon amour", which we see as a space for all the people of the Străseni district, concerned about the future of the region where they live, about what is happening in the context of environmental protection, climate change and sustainable energy. I invite you to this group to discuss various environmental topics.", mentioned in her speech Ms Lilia CURCHI, Executive Director AJMTE.
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.
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 the 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").