Circular Economy in Gdansk: latest services and implemented projects

Previous year was very hard for each of us. The most important goal for municipalities became to ensure the safety of all inhabitants, and that change has influenced the Circular Economy plans. Despite this situation, Gdansk continued its projects and we would like to present them to You.

In 2020 we started with opening a hermetic composting plant, which is ready to process 40 000 tons of biowaste per year. This modern instalation (co-financed by EU) is permanently ventilated, and because of that, there is no unpleasant smell outside during the 5 weeks compost production process. Our next investment is to place on the city map 6 new selective waste collection points, and 2 of them are already being built. This modern instalation will be a "circular economy centre" and will help Gdansk inhabitants to realize and participate in closing the loop process by giving them an oppportunity not only to easier and faster getting rid of hazardous or large-size wastes, but also to give a new life to their used stuff and to get to know more about waste economy and ecology in general. All the waste that cannot be managed will go to "Port Czystej Energii" – modern waste incineration plant, which is currently under construction (it will be processing 160 000 tons wastes from Gdansk and 34 other Pomeranian municipalities).

Compost plant. Photo by Dominik Paszlinski.

Although the awareness of the inhabitants is increasing, there are still some who do not want to participate in the system, which is often caused by a lack of understanding of how important and serious the environmental and climate protection is. Enforcing the rules was the reason for Gdansk to create a hybrid team of clercs and officers of the City Guard. The effects of this cooperation is 500 properties controlled by them and more than a hundred added to the municipal waste management system. That is not the only way where City Guard is helping to keep an order: for example, in the end of the year they became the owners of a mobile laboratory to detect pollution and waste culprits. The vehicle is equipped with the most modern control and measurement systems to check the air and water quality.

Our mobile application, where all waste sorting rules are explained, is still very popular (the dictionary contains 2500 definitions). Now we have more than 25 000 users, and 1000 of them joined us only last month. This could be an effect of the latest update, which involved translating the app into 3 languages – English, Ukrainian and Russian.

Mobile application. Photo by Dominik Paszlinski.

Each year Gdansk inhabitants have a posibility to participate in the city budget division (called "citizen’s budget"), where one resident can submit their own project, which they would like to implement in the surroundings, and another can vote for the best one according to their opinion. Last year innovation was a "green budget", which was dedicated only to ecological projects, and as it was finalized, all of the submitted 79 ideas won the vote and went to the realization stage.

The latest new services are about hazardous wastes, the collecting and recycling of which is one of the biggest challenges nowadays. The city will be equipped with special red bins as a place where residents can leave used small waste (like phone, toaster or printer) and batteries. First 20 containers have already been placed and there will be about 30-50 more. To get rid of large equipment (like frige or tv) inhabitants need to call a special number where they can order a team, which will come and collect the hazardous waste.

We belive that all of the new projects and services will raise the awareness of the city's inhabitants and improve state of environment. We also hope that this year there will be more opportunieties to present it all to the residents on events and meetings.

 

Author: Daniela Olszowa

Red bins for collecting hazardous waste