Trash Challenge Serbia will kick off on April 21 as part of the global #TrashTag challenge.
Producer responsibility organization (PRO) Ekostar Pak, which manages packaging waste, and associations Trash Hero Belgrade and Avala Green Life will organize a cleanup action on Mt. Avala near Belgrade on Sunday, April 21 ahead of Earth Day.
“Trash Hero has so far organized 17 cleanup actions across Serbia, and Trash Challenge and cooperation with Ekostar Pak have proven to be the ideal model to support all those wishing to take part,” says Dragana Katić, co-founder of Trash Hero Belgrade, adding that around 300 people are expected to take part in the Mt. Avala cleanup.
Preparatory Trash Challenge actions have already been organized in Belgrade, Vršac, Pančevo, Zrenjanin, Kragujevac, Lazarevac, Begeč, Bačka Palanka, Ub, Vranje, Boleč, Smederevo, Valjevo, Šid and other towns in Serbia, says Katić.
On Sunday, the organizers and volunteers from Belgrade will clean up an illegal dump site at the Put za vinograde location, where 60,000 people are dumping their waste.
In Serbia, around 20% of generated municipal waste in the country is not collected in an organized way, but rather ends up in one of the illegal dump sites, whose number is estimated at over 3,500.
The illegal dump site on Mt. Avala spans over three hectares of forest land and is a threat to one of Belgrade’s key natural areas, the organizers say.
Trash Challenge Avala will last from 10 am to 12 pm, with all participants to get tools, gloves, and bags to sort and collect waste. Following the cleanup, a Trash Challenge picnic will be hosted, including a waste sorting workshop for children, lunch, and a social mixer.
The action will mark the official start of the national Trash Challenge Serbia campaign launched by Ekostar Pak and Trash Hero to motivate individuals, organizations, and companies to clean up their environment and inspire others.
All those wishing to participate can apply by filling out a form on Ekostar Pak’s website in order to get bags and gloves free of charge, as well as to receive assistance in organizing cleanup actions. The form and campaign information are available here.
The organizers are inviting all citizens to join them in cleaning up Mt. Avala and are asking those arriving by car to let them know if they can give a lift to some of the other participants in need of transportation.
Earth Day marked since 1970
On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies, Earth Day Network writes on its website.
Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.
By the end of that year, the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.