How to Solve Environmental Problems: the Experience of Local Communities in Ukraine

September 18, 2020
In July, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted a framework law on waste management. If approved, it will jumpstart the country’s waste processing industry and promote environmentally-friendly waste management.

Nevertheless, there are already plenty of eco-friendly initiatives in Ukraine. UkraineWorld, together with its colleagues from the regional media, review some of them here.

The first sorting station in Chernihiv

Residents of Chernihiv, in Northern Ukraine, got a chance to make their city more environmentally friendly. Until recently, all garbage had been taken to the landfill. But the situation is set to change with the launch of the city's first educational garbage sorting station. Here is what Natalia Ivaschenko writes in her article for the local news outlet Chas Chernihivskyi (Chernihiv Time).

The first educational garbage sorting station is part of the Supersorters project, which is supported by the regional authorities and also the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. Although the scale of the new project is small, it can significantly improve the situation in Chernihiv, authorities say.

In just six days of work, the sorting station gathered over 516 kilograms of secondary raw materials such as waste paper, glass, plastic, Tetra Pak, cellophane, courier bags, bubble wrap, and dairy packings. These types of secondary raw materials are not accepted by any other recycling collection points in the city.

"The sorting station has also a strong educational part", says its founder Serhiy Bezborodko. In addition to excursions and an information campaign for visitors, the project includes cooperation with schools. By the beginning of the school year, the project started to supply these educational institutions with special containers for separate waste collection and encourage teachers to become "eco-mentors" for their pupils.

How to properly recycle batteries?

In Ukraine, there are no companies that can recycle used batteries, writes journalist Halyna Zuieva from Kramatorsk ( Donetsk Oblast). "Batteries, surrender!'' is the only project that can help  recycle them properly. During the past 8 years, its activists have collected 20 tons of used batteries around Ukraine, which were ultimately sent to the Romanian GreenWEEE plant in March 2020.

The project started in 2013, when three programmers decided to make a positive impact on the environment in Ukraine. Following lessons from other countries' experience in battery recycling, they opened the first battery collection point in the country. Today, there are about 1,500 of them in different regions.

Along with battery collection, they run information campaigns, cooperate with local businesses, and take part in promoting environmental reforms.

By the end of 2020, they plan to send another 100 tons of batteries for recycling.

With the decreased use of dangerous materials, reduction in the number of uncontrolled landfills, and more recycling initiatives,  Ukrainians will be able to create a more eco-friendly and healthy country.

This article was produced through the stipend program Remain in the Profession, run by Internews Ukraine.

The program is made possible by the support of the American people through the Media Program in Ukraine, a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Internews. The contents are the sole responsibility of the authors and Internews Ukraine and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the United States Government or Internews.

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