Cheaper and Smarter: Samobor Waste Disposal Idea Outshines Zagreb

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, Zagreb’s new waste disposal plans have been deemed good in theory but likely to fail in practice, both in terms of technical feasibility and finances, as well as in terms of legality. Samobor, on the other hand, says that they have devised a much more functional and cheaper system with the use of waste metres that is also applicable in the capital.

Komunalac Samobor is introducing a completely new waste collection system in the first half of next year, and the biggest innovation is the expansion of the separate waste collection area to the entire area and waste metres for multi-apartment buildings.

Collections throughout the city

The Samobor waste disposal plan will be carried out by using large common containers for multi-residential buildings that will record every waste insertion. In this way, the waste metre will monitor the disposal for each user and enable the creation of monthly bills according to the amount of waste actually delivered.

For the first time, separate waste collection is being introduced throughout the city, and residents living in family homes will receive special bins for plastic, paper and mixed municipal waste.

Households will pay 10.60 euros per month for the service, and non-households will pay a slightly higher 11.98 euros. The mayor of Samobor, Petra Skrobot, explained that this is a model that was established by combining good practices that were observed in several locations across Croatia and abroad.

“We didn’t research all the cities, but as far as I know, not a single city in Croatia that belongs to the ‘big’ category has this kind of waste management system,” the mayor pointed out, adding that the waste metres themselves will cost around four million kuna, of which one million kuna will be derived from EU funds. There will of course also be other costs involved, she said, such as the modernisation of the vehicle fleet, but they would have to do that anyway because they currently have trucks still doing this job that are over twenty years old.

Komunalac director Renato Raguz pointed out that unlike other cities, especially Zagreb, Samobor’s waste management system isn’t adapted to the service provider but to the citizens themselves. People don’t need to finance the construction of waste boxes from the reserve, as is the case in Zagreb, they don’t need to buy plastic bags, and Samobor’s Komunalac will take care of the containers, waste metres and system control.

Raguz added that before the preparation of the price list, they managed to make some savings within Komunalac, and even if nothing had changed, the expenses of the waste management service would have been 50% higher than the income.

“With this new Samobor waste disposal system, we foresee numerous price reductions that serve as additional motivation for users when sorting and separating their waste. In particular, the price will be reduced for everyone who composts their waste by 1 to 3 euros, depending on the area, and there will even be a 50 percent reduction of the variable part of the price which will be available to those who have children up to two years old, due to the need to dispose of nappies. The same will apply to adults with incontinence,” concluded Raguz.

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