Tbilisi City Hall Signs Memorandum with NGOs on Waste Separation Awareness

A memorandum of mutual cooperation has been signed between Tbilisi City Hall’s Tbilservice Group, Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN), and Waste Management Association of Georgia. The memorandum covers cooperation between the public, private, and civil sectors to promote the gradual adoption of waste separation by the public, including education and popularization initiatives. Cooperation will begin from September 2018, and aims to promote recycling through placing separation facilities in ten areas around Tbilisi and raising public awareness.

Deputy Mayor Maia Bitadze signed the memorandum on behalf of Tbilisi City Hall. “Today’s memorandum is the first step forward to start waste separation and sorting in Tbilisi. Separated trash cans will be placed by the end of this year. We hope citizens will support us to lay the foundation for a cutting-edge system of separation which will turn waste into products. Tbilisi will be very active in this regard,” Bitadze stated.

The memorandum is based on the Waste Management Code and National Strategy for Waste Management. At his weekly meeting on July 24, Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze said a final agreement was signed with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and for the first time, a comprehensive waste management strategy for the city will be development. The strategy will be based on EU Association Agreement obligations and will lay the groundwork for the establishment of a waste separation and recycling system.

"Europe and the developed world are well aware that waste is not something we can avoid,” Mayor Kaladze stated. “It can be remedied and used for different purposes. This approach not only protects the general environment but also helps to create new jobs and develop a currently non-existent industry, which I think is important for our capital. The strategy developed by the EBRD will be a prerequisite for Tbilisi to move into the waste management system gradually, which means that recycling bins will be placed on streets.”

According to Kaladze, a contract was signed for the construction of a waste processing plant but it did not take effect because the system the project proposed was outdated and no longer meets waste management code and waste management governance strategy under the Association Agreement.

"The document also opposed the idea of separating waste on site, which Georgia will gradually introduce from 2019. The draft contract...was rejected by the Georgian government and City Hall recommends that the contract conditions be adjusted, although negotiations have not been held. Furthermore, they refused to return the land which had been transferred for a term of 25 years, so we have a petition in court to restore the municipality's right to the property,” stated Kaladze.

By Samantha Guthrie

06 August 2018 16:58