Thursday, 3 May 2007


Separate waste collection was introduced in Sofia in 2005. The huge bell-shaped containers added more liveliness to the otherwise grey and dull city daylife. And, as it turned out, a good object of interest for the admirers of nightlife.

Nowadays it's very difficult to make some citizens not to throw their garbage directly from the balconies of their flats - either wrapped in plastic bags or not.

The way of treating waste tells a lot about the habits and mindset of citizens of the capital. One i s often lazy enough to hang their plastic bags full of waste directly onto the small waste basket placed at the bus stop. The idea of missing the bus while turning round the block where the containers stay is always one of the drivers for such acions.

As far as recycling is concerned, it just turned neccesary because the current dung-hill is almost full and people living nearby complained about the smell... So one of the results from the massive protests and summer days in a capital where the waste is not collected (because the collecting cars are not let to the dung-hill by the protestors) is the decision from separate waste collection.

True, it's of benefit for the companies holding shares in the recycling organizations. But yet what's the real impact?
Mindsets are yet to be changed.
People not to throw their waste from the balconies or onto the steet.
Complanies who have received the concessions for waste collection should be more hard-working.
Other things might not change that fast. Poor and/or homeless people would hardly give up collecting the waste from the containers and getting money from recycling companies for that - e.g. for paper, metal, glass.

I sense a difference compared to the past decade. Nowadays the average citizen of Sofia is much more concerned about the negative effects of irresponsible actions: on the environment and on the people. It is often said here in Bulgaria that only when something bad happens people realize there's been a problem and start thinking about possible actions

The bad thing about waste in particular were the protests which led to piles of uncollected waste in the whole city - during the summer. The problem was finally identified by the majority. Actions have been discussed. Somethinga has already been changed.

So far so good.

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