Municipal Waste in Croatia: Which Cities are Best at Recycling?

Daniela Rogulj

The highest rates of municipal waste recovery are in Međimurje and Zagreb County, while the least is in Lika-Senj and Split-Dalmatia County.

Croatian citizens produced 1,679,765 tons of municipal waste last year. If we look at the per capita number annually, that would mean 392 kilograms, or over a kilogram a day. Compared to the number in 2015, last year’s waste figure is 1.56 percent higher – but Croats are still well below the European Union average where a resident produces 477 kilos of waste, reports Vecernji List  on December 8, 2017. 

The data on municipal waste in 2016 was published by the Croatian Environment and Nature Agency. At the end of last year, 25% of cities and municipalities had not yet introduced separating useful waste types such as glass, plastics, metals and paper. In all, 109 of the 555 units of local self-government collected bio-deposits – branches, leaves and the like. Of the total produced municipal waste at landfill sites, 77% was transported, 21% was sent to recovery (recyclable waste), and the rest was temporarily stored.

When looking at Croatian cities, the highest rates of separation of municipal waste were in the Međimurje town of Prelog and the municipality of Donja Dubrava, followed by the town of Krk and Goričan (Međimurje County), and a number of local government units from the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County – Malinska-Dubašnica, Vrbnik, Dobrinj, Punat, Omišalj and Baška. 

Among the ten most prosperous cities in waste separation, no large Croatian cities made the list. 

Siniša Radiković from the Prelog utility company Pre-kom, responsible for running waste in Prelog and the lower Međimurje municipalities, says that according to his record, Donja Dubrava comes in first with 66.71% of municipal waste recovery. 

“There is a great deal of credit owed to the municipal authorities, as well as employees in the municipal administration who educated the locals and encouraged them that building waste and scraps are not for wild landfills. Information and education are key,” says Radiković. 

It is interesting that in the ten most successful cities and municipalities, waste is managed by two utility companies. Along with Pre-kom, there is also Ponikve Krk, which had their hands full during the tourist season in the summer. The rate of waste sent to recovery here was at 21%, which is three percent more than the year before, and recycling of metal, glass, plastics and paper was 27%, slightly more than half the target rate of 50 percent by 2020.

The agency warns that despite the three percent recovery rate, such a pace will not be enough to achieve the goals for recycling and reducing the disposal of biodegradable waste, and the must drastically intensify activities to raise awareness among citizens.

The highest rates of utilization of municipal waste are in Međimurje (42.83%), Zagreb (31.92%) and Varaždin County (29.66%), and the lowest in Lika-Senj (13.25%) and Split-Dalmatia County (13.26%).

Translated from Vecernji List 


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