A lot has been said and written about the problems with waste management in Zagreb in recent period, especially in terms of reduced cycle of collection of municipal waste from the buildings and attempts to improve recycling rate.
And it seems that some of the proposed and installed solutions to the city’s problem with waste management are anything but. So, only a couple of days after the media reported on the huge piles of trash near the dumpsters that haven’t been emptied in too long, where the people wanting to recycle didn’t have much choice but to leave their recyclables next to the dumpsters, today Večernji list again reports on the piles of trash left next to the dumpsters.
The twist in that story is that these are not your everyday run-of-the-mill cheapo dumpsters, rather quite pricey partially underground dumpsters, that have been presented only last week and were announced as a very important step in the right direction in the attempts of the city’s administration to combat problems with waste management in the city.
The new underground dumpsters in Primorska and Kranjčevićeva Streets in the city centre have experienced the same fate as many other dumpsters in Zagreb: they’ve filled up quite fast and after that a lot of materials have just been dumped on or around them, completely defeating their underground purpose in a so-called “green island”. And their price is also raising some eyebrows, as they were purchased for the price 4 times higher than the price of the equivalent dumpsters produced by the world’s leading manufacturer.
Many citizens have warned and posted on social media that, while it has certainly not reached the fully satisfactory level, the understanding of the need to recycle has grown in the past years. That means that more and more people are recycling and doing it properly, but the dumpsters for the recyclables in the green islands are almost constantly completely full. It often happens that there’s really nowhere to put the separated materials you want recycled, unless you’re willing to drive around searching for an empty dumpster (which kind of, again, defeats the purpose of recycling). And let’s be completely honest, most people will not want to do that, nor take the “garbage” home and wait for their favourite dumpster to become empty enough.
So, the problem remains several-fold: at the same time the frequency of collection of garbage collected in houses and buildings has been reduced to twice weekly, which is supposed to encourage recycling, and the dumpsters dedicated to recyclables collecting are not being emptied at a satisfactory rate. That, unfortunately, results in the city with a lot of literal garbage visible at every step. And that’s without even mentioning the oft-discussed dilemma of what actually happens to the recyclables after they’ve been collected, and the major years-long problems with the Jakuševac landfill.