Waste

Volunteers rake in 2,000 tons of trash in Serbia on World Cleanup Day

Photo: Facebook/Svetski dan čišćenja 2018.

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September 17, 2018

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Published:

September 17, 2018

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An estimated 13 million volunteers took part in a “green wave” to remove garbage from parks, beaches, and other public areas on World Cleanup Day.

World Cleanup Day was marked in Serbia at a total of 50 locations, with volunteers including employees of over 20 companies and banks, such as UniCredit and Erste Bank, and civil society organizations. Around 2,000 volunteers who cleaned eight locations in Belgrade were joined by U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Kyle Scott and around 50 embassy staff.

The cleanup campaign raked in about 2,000 tons of garbage, composed mainly of plastic bottles. Serbia, which does not yet have an organized packaging waste recycling system in place, targets the collection of 40% of packaging waste in the country, RTS wrote.

“We are burying a huge amount of money in landfills. A program is being prepared to modify the existing system and switch to a deposit system that would motivate different walks of life to collect packaging waste,” said Serbian Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) Director Filip Radović.

Kristina Cvejanov, general manager of Ekostar Pak, the second largest packaging waste management operator in Serbia, said: “Two things are crucial – one is to strengthen the capacities of utility services and institutions involved in the waste management system, and the second, even more important, is to work on raising citizens’ awareness”

World Cleanup Day started in Fiji and finished in American Samoa. One of the organizers, Let’s Do It Foundation, said in a press release the campaign had to be postponed in a number of countries and parts of states over tropical cyclones, typhoons, and hurricanes. These included the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Macau, several US States, and the Dominican Republic.

The largest contributors were Indonesia, Pakistan, and the U.S., with 3.3 million, 3 million, and 1.5 million people respectively. Kyrgyzstan had the largest percentage of population participation rate in the cleanup, standing at 7%.

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