Skopje has procured air purifiers for all high school classrooms – 572 in total. The second semester was supposed to begin on Monday, but the winter break was extended by two days over high levels of air pollution.
Many cities in the region have had excessive air pollution in recent days, with particulate matter (PM) levels putting the Air Quality Index (AQI) for Skopje in the “very unhealthy” category.
Data concerning mean concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 for 2018, published earlier by the World Health Organization (WHO), rank Skopje as Europe’s most polluted capital city, with PM2.5 values four times the recommended levels.
The bulk of air pollution is attributable to household heating, which has prompted the city authorities to advise households not to burn waste and other polluting materials such as styrofoam, plastic packaging, and tires.
Citizens are advised to reduce driving, carpool, and use public transportation, which is free of charge on days when excessive pollution, of over 188 micrograms of PM10 per cubic meter, is registered.
Fresh subsidies for procurement of pellet stoves offered
The City of Skopje has issued a fresh invitation to apply for subsidies for the procurement of pellet stoves.
Residents who procure pellet stoves in the period from November 7, 2018 to the end of the invitation, November 30, 2019, or until subsidy funds expire, can get a 70% refund, but not more than MKD 30,000 (around EUR 488).
A call to apply for chimney sweeping subsidies of MKD 1,000 (about EUR 16) will also be open until November 30.
Funds secured for 40 eco-friendly buses
Funds have been secured for the procurement of 40 eco-friendly, natural gas-powered buses, which mayoral aide Nikola Naumoski expects to be procured in late 2019 or in early 2020 at the latest, according to a statement from the City of Skopje.
The city’s environmental protection budget for 2019 stands at MKD 186.2 million (about EUR 3 million), an increase of 30% compared to 2018, says Naumovski.