Cleaning up: how Dunayevetska hromada managed to close 50 illegal landfills
“I had never sorted waste before. However, one day, my son came home from school and told me, “Dad, it is not correct. We must separate plastic bottles from food waste.”
If my neighbour had challenged me like that, I would have started a dispute with him. But it came from my kid, and it was a shame, because I can’t ignore him, and we must do this for our future,” says Mykola Ostrovskyi, member of the Dunayivtsi town council.
Waste management is what keeps the Dunayevetska AH in the Khmelnytskyi Oblast together now. This hromada sorts waste. It has also closed almost all illegal landfills and launched, as one of the first hromadas in Ukraine, a waste-sorting facility.
This hromada sorts waste. It has also closed almost all illegal landfills and launched, as one of the first hromadas in Ukraine, a waste-sorting facility.
In 2015, 50 villages amalgamated around the town of Dunayivtsi. Nowadays, less than 40,000 residents live in the Dunayevetska AH.
Landfill for everyone
Four years ago, there were two certified landfills in the hromada, and at least one uncontrolled in each settlement. Together there were not less than 50, reported the town council.
There were not less than 50 landfills in the hromada
“We have first been told that it is impossible for people to pay for the service, because there is no rubbish in the village - it is burned and picked up. For this, there are forests, forest belts and rivers,” tells Ostrovskyi.
Uncontrolled landfills were gradually removed. At first, several tons of garbage were exported. Subsequently, there was almost no waste.
“For example, there is a territory where people can have a rest. Once we decided to clean it – we collected the whole truck of garbage. Everyone thought that today we were cleaning, but tomorrow it would be the same situation. A year later, we arrived there and picked up only 10 bags of rubbish. At the end of the season we came there just to relax - there was almost no waste. Why? Because it's clean. It is psychologically difficult to be the first one throwing garbage on the ground, as everyone pays attention to it. There is one certified landfill in the Dunayevetska AH. Somewhere in villages, there can be remnants of the previous uncontrolled ones, but this is not at all the volumes that have been earlier”, reports the town council.
Another step to a clean hromada has become the sorting of garbage, but so far only in the town. On the territory of Dunayivtsi there were installed modern sorting platforms. Now it is possible to separate plastic and waste paper. Subsequently, it is planned to place glass containers.
Before – after
Mykola Ostrovskyi knows in his own example that children in the hromada teach adults to sort garbage. The pupils are taught it at schools - more than a year ago, educational institutions purchased sorting tanks for plastic, glass, organic waste and paper.
“Earlier, a child could simply throw a candy bar in the yard. Now he/she is specially running to garbage tanks. Children perceive it as a game. They are interested in it," says Martha Chekman, director of the Station for Young Naturalists.
In addition to sorting, children are involved in planting shrubs and cleaning the territories.
“We are organizing the Clean-up Days. We are collecting paper in the street together with children and young people, so that the rest can see that we are fighting with the garbage," says Oksana Babiy, head of the village.
We are organizing the Clean-up Days. We are collecting paper in the street together with children and young people, so that the rest can see that we are fighting with the garbage
Children have also joined one important initiative. They tell adults that no leaves can be burned.
If one burns leaves, one should pay a fine
Previously, violators were warned only in words for garbage burning in the Dunayevtska AH, however, since the fall of 2018, fines began to be imposed. In the villages of Ivankivtsi and Slobidka Hirchychnyanska, a fine in the sum of UAH 340 was paid by a dozen offenders for a season.
All leaves in the town were cleaned and brought to our composting pit. We filled it in, and now we have organic fertilizers," says Martha Chekman, director of the Station for Young Naturalists.
The hromada was able to run the sorting line, but so far in the test mode, because it does not have enough rubbish for its full-fledged work.
“The sorting line is designed for 100 tons per day. So far, we are launching it once or twice a week," says Leonid Mykhalskyi, director of the Communal Enterprise "Landscaping in Dunayevtsi Region”.
The sorting line is designed for 100 tons per day
Clean-up days in the hromada
Household issues in Dunayevetska AH
Before the start, the head with the team went to each settlement to understand what was worrying about the locals. The roads are turned out to be the biggest problem
The town council transferred all employees in villages under one roof
30 kilometers from Kamyanets-Podilskyi
The hromada is united by another sphere - tourism. This spring, the AH first opened several excursion routes and created an information centre.
“Opening of the season was planned not so for tourists, as for potential partners and for residents of the hromada. Many people have never visited even local castles,” says Alla Bets, head of the Department of Culture and Tourism.
The opening of tourist season in the hromada
The Dunayivtsi Region is rich in picturesque landscapes. In particular, the Bourbon Waterfall is located on its territory, as well as architectural and historical monuments.
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