If you were anywhere in Slovenia today, it’s likely that you saw lots of bags very much like these.
trans: Let's Clean Slovenia 2012
It was part of the Let’s Clean Slovenia 2012 campaign, a follow up to the nation-wide effort two years ago which turned out to be the largest volunteer project in the country’s history. According to organizers, 270,000 volunteers pitched in in 2010, about 13% of the country’s population, and removed 60,000 cubic meters, or 12,000 tons of waste from about 7,000 illegal landfills.
Tires remain a huge problem
Lots of piles in Ljubljana today
The goals this year were similar: to bring together 250,000 volunteers and collect at least 10,000 tons of waste. Finding that much won’t be a problem. Many people are, and remain, pigs. From the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (SORS):
According to the latest data from the Register of Illegal Landfills, there are around 10,700 illegal landfills in Slovenia, 25% of which in Osrednjeslovenska, 13% in Podravska and 11% in Savinjska statistical regions. These landfills mostly contain construction and demolition waste, waste electrical and electronic equipment, used tires and other hazardous and non-hazardous waste.
More than two million tons of construction and demolition waste was generated in Slovenia in 2010, which is around 30% of all waste generated in the country. Around 18,000 tons of construction and demolition waste was hazardous construction and demolition waste, 90% of it containing asbestos (mostly asbestos roofing). The amount of asbestos-containing construction and demolition waste has been increasing since 2003, when the use of asbestos was totally banned in Slovenia.
The problem of construction and demolition waste is not so much in its amount as in its management. A large part of construction and demolition waste could be recovered. Recovered construction and demolition waste represents potential secondary construction material, which reduces the need for exploiting natural sources of raw material and harmful impacts on the environment. In 2010 more than 90% of construction and demolition waste was recovered; around 49% of construction and demolition waste was recycled and the rest was used for backfilling.
In the EU around 900 million tons of construction and demolition waste is generated per year, which is 25─30% of all waste. The rate of reuse and recycling of construction and demolition waste varies among EU Member States between 10% and 85%; the highest rate is recorded in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.
More from SORS here.
Clean up at a communal garden
The campaign in Slovenia is part of a global effort, World Cleanup 2012, which began today with actions in Slovenia, Portugal and Tunisia. I’ll post a quick update tomorrow or Monday when figures on turnout become available.