Protest Against Waste Management Practices in Zagreb

Total Croatia News

Activists organized a protest against the way Zagreb city authorities approach waste management issues.

Activists on several NGOs held a protest on Friday in front of the Zagreb City Government building, carrying over their faces masks of Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić. They threw in the air a couple of bags of fake money, warning against the way the city authorities were approaching waste management issues. In a recent report by the European Commission, Zagreb took the last place in waste management rakings, reports Večernji List on December 16, 2016.

Several activists put up the banner “Zagreb: European Capital of Rubbish”, while others opened bags full of fake hundred kuna banknotes and threw them in the air, saying that during the 16 years of Mayor Bandić’s rule, billions of kuna were thrown into landfills.

“We have a mayor who is a visionary of Advent lights and tents put up on city squares, he is a grand strategist of building fountains all over the city, he is a great tactician of wasting our money, but in the last 16 years he has not solved a single substantive issue of management of city resources”, said Teodor Celakoski from the “Right to the City” association, adding that Zagreb had not won the title of European Capital of Culture, but did win “the prestigious title of the worst EU capital in the separation of waste category”.

He said it was bizarre that Zagreb was not able to provide citizens with high-quality water supply, infrastructure and kindergartens, even though Bandić every year throws away raw materials worth more than 150 million kuna.

Activists warned that the city authorities planned to spend another nearly three billion kuna to build an incinerator which would, while damaging the environment and people, burn valuable waste, which they consider to be a new example of foolishly wasting money. “We cannot take any more rubbish”, said Celakoski, calling on other politicians who are planning to run in the upcoming local elections in May to raise the issue of waste management to a higher level and prepare solutions already tried in other European cities, which are based on the separation and recycling of waste.

Bernard Ivčić from the Green Action association said that the title of the “capital of rubbish” was the “accomplishment” of Mayor Bandić and his sloppiness and laziness in all these years. “Ten years ago, Zagreb and Ljubljana had equally bad waste management systems, and the only difference is that Zagreb has not done anything since then and separates just one percent of waste, while Ljubljana separates more than 60 percent of waste and has been declared the best city in Europe”, said Ivčić.

According to data for 2014 provided by Ivčić, Zagreb that year threw away 156 million kuna worth of raw materials, mostly bio-waste, paper and plastic, followed by glass, metal and textiles.

After the protest, the activists cleaned the area in front of the city administration building which was covered with fake banknotes.


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