How to start sorting waste: experience of ATC in Khmelnytskyi region

Did you know that old shoes, for example, decay for 10 years? And fragments of brick, concrete, car batteries, foil – 100? Rubber tires – about 180-200 years. The most dangerous waste is aluminum cans and glass. In order to decay, it takes 500 years in the first case, and in the second one – almost 1,000. It means that 10-12 generations will be born, live and die, and the glass, which is broken and lying in our paths, fields, parks, will keep lying there.

Imagined this? Do you understand why the top topic in the world is the separate collection of waste and recycling? Because the planet is so polluted that all these things may lead to a collapse.

Therefore, many of us, on our own initiative, begin to separately collect paper, metal, glass and take them to reception points that have already appeared in individual cities. Therefore, the construction of waste recycling plants and waste transfer stations are vital.

In the photo – Oleksandr Kohut. He himself is from the Dunaievtsi, which is in Khmelnytskyi region. And he manages the waste sorting station, which has recently been launched.

And everything started from the amalgamation of the territorial community. The citizens of Dunaievtsi, amalgamated, began to solve the problem of waste in villages. For this purpose, a municipal enterprise was founded. The first line for waste sorting was built, and heads of villages entered into contracts for the transport of waste.

It took a little more than a year for the development of documents, in particular for the construction, testing and launch of the facility for the sorting of waste. And now there are 10 people working here. They plan to employ more, because they want to expand and there is more than enough work.

Demand for waste disposal and recycling is very high. Every day, 120-130 tons of waste is delivered here.

It is difficult to describe the scheme of work, but, so that you understand, modern technology allows, for example, just plastic bottles to be divided into 9 types. Various substances and materials are also sorted, packed and sold to waste recycling plants in Poltava, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Chernivtsi, etc.

By the way, there are similar sorting stations in the country, but almost all of them are private. Only the sorting station in Dunaievtsi is founded by the community. And the money for sorting waste is received by the local budget.

For sure, ideally they dream of recycling waste here.

“This requires funds,” says Oleksandr Kohutthe, head of the station. “So far, they do not suffice, but we are investing a lot in expanding and improving the line. And local citizens already understand the importance of proper collection and recycling of waste. After all, this is something that will save the environment and, hence, also our health.”

By the way, the citizens of Dunaievtsi gained a positive experience in a new business in the city of Zolochiv, where one of the most successful waste sorting lines of the country began to work late 2013. It turned out that it was possible to reduce the negative impact of garbage and waste on the environment, soil and underground water sources, where the most important thing was to sort the rubbish.

In Lithuania, for example, they also had the opportunity to see the work of the sorting station. In particular, they “pried” a magnet there, which sorts metal and exhaust hoods to improve the working conditions of workers.

They burned up with the idea and embodied it. In general, it is important to want to do something. And look for an opportunity to implement it. All this has become possible thanks to decentralization. In Ukraine, this reform has been supported by the EU since 2016 through the U-LEAD with Europe Programme with a total amount of aid EUR 102 million over 4 years (2016 to 2020). It is this reform that allows local communities to develop and create a better life around them.

The Dunaievtsi community is well aware that the waste sorting line is a good thing. But the quality of waste sorting depends on the consciousness of the participants in the process at all stages. It is important to change your mind and learn how to sort rubbish on your own.

I began to separately collect waste paper and throw plastic in a special container near my house.

And what do you do with your garbage?

By Zoy Kazanzhy, journalist, writer, E’COMM Agency Communications Advisor