Supporting the Introduction of a Sustainable System for Management of Biodegradable Waste from Agricultural and Other Activities in the Prespa Lake Watershed
According to the data in the Prespa Park Strategic Action Plan, the “Feasibility Study on Biodegradable Waste Management in the Prespa Region” developed by UNDP, the Local Environmental Plan and our experience, one of the factors of pollution in the protected cross-border region – the Prespa Lakes waters – is the biodegradable waste generated in the region. Its adverse impact is that on underground waters through the landfill leachates and its direct impact on surface waters. This type of waste is generated as a result of agricultural and household activities, forest management and industrial production. As the dominant culture in Prespa is the apple, grown on approximately 5,000 hectares and produced in annual quantities of 80,000 – 110,000 tons, agriculture is the largest organic waste generator. Seven to twelve percent (over 10,000 tons) of the total quantities of apples produced on an annual basis are waste, i.e. rotten ones that are disposed of illegally – thrown in the lake, in and about the rivers and streams, along the local roads, bridges, and illegal landfills. An additional source of the biodegradable waste generated in the region is also the 15,000m3 of waste wood resulting from activities in the orchards and gardens, as well as from post-harvest activities, disposed of in illegal ways or incinerated. This type of organic waste is not treated in the existing waste management system in Prespa, nor is it controlled or managed in any other way. The findings of the above stated documents and our experience have been also confirmed in the 2006 – 2012 National Waste Management Plan, with the following stated as the main reasons behind the inappropriate organic waste management polluting the lake: insufficient information, low environmental awareness, insufficient monitoring of and sanctions against perpetrators and no sustainable system for management of this type of waster, lack of national composting standards, lack of identified potential compost users and markets, no composting industry at a national level, and no regional composting schemes. Due to the seriousness of the problem stated in the above Feasibility Study, a Feasibility Study on Biodegradable Waste Management at a central pilot-composting facility in Resen was recommended and developed. The study also recommended that a central pilot-composting facility of an annual capacity of 1,600m3 of ready-made compost be built (this is already in its final stage), as well as 4 collection points, to cover the area around the city of Resen and the village of Jankovec. The objective of this project is to serve as the first successful example in Macedonia, especially for areas with similar issues. Various entities need to be involved in this project, to facilitate the introduction of such a system and to ensure its efficiency, functionality and sustainability. This is why – at the initiative of the non-governmental sector in Prespa – a wider coalition of civil society organizations was formed, led by the Association of Fruit Growers and including: the public utility enterprise, local authorities, relevant representatives of farmers, civil society organizations, and schools. Based on its past involvement in the introduction of a system for management of hazardous waste generated from packing of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, as well as its participation in studies and research and cooperation with experts, this coalition organized a special workshop to develop a detailed plan for its concrete involvement in the development, introduction and operation of a central municipal organic waste management system, which will be innovative and first of its kind in Macedonia. The coalition agreed to test the assumptions and challenges on the basis of which the feasibility of successful coping with organic waste (such as the quantities of organic waste generated, efficiency of transport and logistics systems for inflow of waste into the central composting facility, market sale prices of the compost produced as a fertilizer in the agricultural production, which is a market solution for environmental problems…) will be assessed. In doing so, the coalition will use the experience of the previously introduced and running system for management of hazardous waste from pesticides, fertilizers, and PET packaging (also first of its kind in Macedonia and the wider region) and will merge the two systems, thus making them more economical and more efficient. The workshop recommended a larger-scale field campaign, practical trainings, purchase of containers and interventions in the collection points, inventive preparations and participation of all relevant target groups in the system, so that they may understand the benefits of the system and so that the scope and capacity of the latter be enhanced. The system, which will be run by the Public Utility Enterprise in Resen in cooperation with the NGO sector, along with the inventive mediation of the NGO sector between the farmers and the system operator, will be promoted as a model in Macedonia, in the Albanian and Greek parts of Prespa, as well as in the wider region, through promotional activities that will, among others, also include the beneficiaries of the GEF SGP Program grants.
Coalition led by the Association of Fruit Growers BLAGOJA A KOTLAROVSKI
Area Of Work:
Project Characteristics and Results
500 women participated in the project
Emphasis on Sustainable Livelihoods
Creation of a system of organic waste management with a network of 3 organic waste collection points with 5 specially constructed containers.
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Number of women participated / involved in SGP project 500
Hectares of globally significant international water body or marine and coastal protected area sustainably managed or protected by SGP project 120
Number of individuals (gender diaggregated) who have benefited* from SGP project 800