By Erjona Rusi
One of the first cities that attempted to make the separate waste differentiation and recycling was Shkodra. In early 2010, the women’s center “Easy steps” in cooperation with the Municipality of Shkodra launched a pilot project called “Environment and periphery” differentiation of waste in the suburb “Mark Lula”. Director, Alketa Leskaj explains that thanks to financing of approximately 95 thousand euro from the EC and the expertise of the Italian organization COSPE, was initially trained 15 women who would then teach the residents how to do differentiation waste with the purpose of their recycling.
Initially there was a study by the association in collaboration with COSPE with Italian experts for the amount of waste and how the cleaning was done and we introduced this to the Municipality of Shkodra and the cleaning company. We and the Municipality set up a working group which called main actors that must cooperate in this regard, such as the heads of regions, managers of some public institutions and the education department in order to include schools, too.
Leta Mllogja is one of those first women trained for this, who explains the work done five years ago. But the situation today in the “Mark Lula” neighborhood is quite different from that of the beginnings of this project.
“Before, there were no baskets, these forty baskets that we have located in the neighborhood. Even cleaning that today as lady is casting or the garbage you see on the street there should not have been, but must have a genuine division. Now you can see that there are many impurities and at the time we were working on was a completely different situation. ”
Leta shows us the polyvalent center “Mark Lula”, where women gathered to be trained but that today is a desert. There are only pictures of the training and the work that these women made with residents.
“I’ve been part of the project when there was, but now we have not work”.
Today in “Mark Lula”, families have still containers that were delivered to the waste differentiation but no longer perform that function.
“In the beginning we did, and now we do not. Do you know why we do not? Because there are also spoiled containers and we do not know where to send them. Because at first they were regular baskets, but now they mixed all over and we do not do. In fact it should be wanted at the beginning; it was very good but should be aware to do all because otherwise would not be done. Be aware of all, you gather your people and conceiving them, remembering because they forget ”
Today the project itself is considered successful by its funder the European Commission as shows the response from the EC delegation to the Justice Association of Journalists . But what it did not succeed was the attempt of the Municipality to extend this project across the city. Even other neighborhood noticed the same phenomenon of waste disposal on the street. However, in the City Hall it is said that the situation is much better than eight years ago.
“I think that the city may be among the cleanest cities. We have a negligence by the citizens especially at noon. If at 5 am the city is totally clear, I am sure that at 9 or 10 journalists have something to find. ”
In November of 2010, the municipality announced it would extend the project throughout the city initially establishing new 140 special bins for waste separation. But despite the furor with which was presented the project within a short time, the initiative will fail.
In the city is never began differentiation, bins were distributed, but was not observed differentiation of waste because people failed to understand what is the proper bin for the type of waste. It was very fast, without providing proper information. So a project should be respected, but was not created, it was not funded, ultimately failed “.
The same opinion has Alfred Marena, chairman of the Region No.3 where is part the pilot neighborhood , the protagonist of this project.
Mark Lula was the first spark, but then it was extended to the entire territory of the Municipality of Shkodra. For a period it worked very well and had a positive impact, but over time was faded. In my opinion the problem was that the campaign did not keep pace, started well but not maintained continuity .
Discontinuation admits though not directly even deputy mayor.
At first we were probably bustle and people began to use the bins without persi? and we were forced to change our method. This is a job that never stops and requires updating if awareness campaign and actualization of the problem with the citizens, institutions and businesses that has a cost, so we are obliged to do once or twice a year, and while we have reduced pace awareness that begins to fall everything because there is a cost if it is continuous. ”
According to Omi, the Municipality spends annually about $ 1 million to clean up the city. But these investments are not enough for the governor of Shkodra, Paulin Radovani, who criticizes the municipality for the lack of a concrete plan management.
“Everything is connected with not handling well training that is done in storage in small containers in the city. So, the Municipality may have to think differently with the relevant institutions. Who will be the one who will manage to drum up the garbage? So, for me is lacking the administration side of local government. ”
According to the Municipality, today in Shkodra are 600 points with bins and citizens have no longer than 200 meters the point of waste storage. Despite the fact that every year the Municipality spends millions of lek annually to purchase, where the cost of a boiler goes up to 30 thousand new lek, in suburbs residents complain that bins nor are there and not to talk more about the separation of differentiated waste.
“We are not overseas to make plastics division, separate cardboard waste. Since they do not have baskets they throw into the street. I have never seen baskets in these 49 years “.
“No bins there. Baskets here have never existed. What shall we do? We draw there in the street.
Buying hundreds of containers every year is not the appropriate solution to change the problem of waste in the city as says the perfect of Shkodra, Paulin Radovani, who does not hesitate to do irony.
“There are bought so many containers that also would have been placed for hats. Municipality invests year after year for containers. I’ve been alderman for several years and every year we asked where go 300-400 containers. In fact damaged. Who deals with kettles? Who administers? It is known only that who buys but not who administers .
And despite the investments and projects for integrated waste management, the Municipality of Shkodra turns out to be fined last year by the State Inspectorate of Environment and Forests with 500 thousand new lek for mismanagement of urban waste.
“In a letter addressed to all local units of Albania by the minister we have made an inspection in all Shkodra region and more or less have been fined 12 local units and among these the Municipality of Shkodra for not managing properly the waste in city of Shkodra. The fine was 500 thousand new lek “.
Another problem noted is the lack of transparency by the municipality to show the costs of these expenses. In the 2010 draft, the project by “easy steps” organization only mentioned superficially, and there is no evidence of financial bill. In addition, deputy director Omi and the director Leskaj Omi contradict each other in terms of municipal involvement in this project.
“That of ‘Mark Lulse’ was not ours, we only have supported”.
“In the city was a major investment, the largest the municipality had done in terms of improving service cleaning of the city”.
Armando Pali, former city councilman says that never the municipality has given information on the projects implemented.
“The city of Shkodra is now reduced to this state. Waste as you have seen, there is more waste. We do not know why not functioning the firms that win the tenders. We hope that the new Mayor that has received the mandate to implement these two projects that for four years I was an advisor are not implemented in the Municipality of Shkodra. We have requested information from the mayor and the competent staff, but never have brought us, at least we as advisers although is a task of Shkodra Municipality to inform for everything. Obviously these money are putted into the pockets of those who run and are not interested to give information. I have no information on the cost of these projects, but we heard that it is about thousands of euro, but never made known their real amount. ”
Even Perfect Radovani makes irony when asked if there was transparency on the part of the Municipality.
“There was transparency, but does not call into question that was written 400, but 200 were purchased. It is not enough to plan funds in the city budget is not enough just raised hand in municipal council half drowsily, but should also to know where did the money that was spent to buy bins. If you collect from year to year as they are bought, I guess that in the road will meet not the people but bins “.
For chief inspector Terthorja what shows lack of seriousness is the fact that the two companies which are involved in transport of waste in Shkodra have neither the appropriate license.
“Leading companies, private companies that have received tender or positions received in contract with the Municipality to manage this work, for the sake of truth from inspection we have done those found without a license and permit for the transport, but they have only one environmental permit which is only to accumulate not to ship, so here begins to emerge seriousness that has a municipality or local entity that has to do such work.
Despite numerous failures and problems, last year Shkodra Municipality undertook another initiative to achieve differentiation and recycling of waste. In collaboration with the program for local development and decentralization (dldp) on March 26, 2014 was launched the campaign ” Shkodra recycles”, a project worth 85,700 euro, 20% of which (11,300 euro was contributed by the municipality itself. The project was launched with much enthusiasm and had wide support from institutions. Thus again it was invested to purchase this time different bins with a value of about 9 million new lek as seen in the contract signed between dldp and Shkodra municipality.
But today the images show that Municipality failed as the main institution that should give the example of the differentiated waste separation at the source.
However the leaders of dldp project implemented last year “Shkodra recycles” received support from all the institutions in Shkodra and was supported by people who began to become aware of the benefits of recycling.
According to Karakaci the greater volume of waste that are collected and the engaged community with exactly young. and in fact official figures from dldp show that the project engaged 33 schools that collected about 6 thousand kg of waste recycled and 24 of them took part in the recycling championship , an initiative already extended to other cities.
Recycling values seem to have taught these children who have come from Fushe-Kruje to collect cans and then to sell.
“I collect cans and then sell to Feriti for 500 or one thousand lek”.
But according to Radovani none of the projects could not solve the waste management in the city.
“Everyone has their brains how to make projects. The project does not have to come ready with the implemented, but should gather once people, to pick up ideas and then to do the project. Projects must be in concrete terms and for me they are not. I do not consider that the two projects are made and can be solved. May be done 20. If these projects make people who do not feel this concern, that do not deal day to day with this problem, they will be projects only to spend money but not do work. For me, while in bins there are thrown everything and have solve nothing ,they have failed “.
Failure of these projects accept in some way Deputy Mayor Ahmet Omi, who in turn recalls that Shkodra has risked through these initiatives but is left alone by the central government.
“However many experiments that also can fail, but there is not a significant financial failure”.
What is the real value of this financial failure that cost the pockets of the citizens of Shkodra no one can say. According to estimates, the municipality has spent about 5 million dollars to clean up the city in the these five years and at least 6 million new lek from its involvement in two projects for integrated waste management.
But today this municipality says it only carries 3% recycling of waste, and there in “Mark Lula” are only pictures and wishes that things can change.
“We hope that the municipality with those beautiful programs on paper has to do something for the community.”
Artikull i mire qe tenton te hedh drite ndaj padrejtesive qe i jan bere Shkodres. 95 mije euro nen kontrollin e Alketa Leskaj per trajnimin e 15 grave? Nuk eshte surprize qe ka rezultuar ne nje falimentim total. Me siguri po te investigoni projektet e tjera qe ka menaxhuar ajo do te gjeni te histori te ngjashme: Falimentim i projektit per te mbushur xhepat personal.
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