The new waste separation, collection and recycling project pilot project was launched in Marneuli by Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia and Khatia Tsilosani, Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, as well as local government representatives, including, Deputy of the State Representative -Governor in Kvemo Kartli Region, Mayor of Marneuli.
The focus is to assist the Marneuli composting plant in improving collection of green waste from local residents and municipal institutions by purchasing and distributing 30 containers of 1,100 litres for placement in different areas of Marneuli as well as 120 bins of 12 litres for distribution among target residents and kindergartens for kitchen green waste collection. The goal is to effectively utilise the green waste that currently goes into regional landfills – approximately 50% of total landfill volumes - as compost, thereby also cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions.
The pilot initiative was designed and is supported by the EU funded "Technical assistance for the improvement of waste management systems in Georgia" project in cooperation with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Marneuli Composting Plant and the local government.
"The EU is a global leader in environmental and health issues. Waste management is a key part of this, and we are happy to share our experiences in Georgia. Through this pilot action supported by the EU in Marneuli, we are showing that there are opportunities to better manage waste in Georgia and that green waste can be recycled to produce useful compost,” – stated Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia.
During the launch event, benefits of the pilot project as well as challenges of the green waste composting faced by the Marneuli composting plant were discussed with local government, followed by the visit to the composting plant. Moreover, large containers were placed in residential blocks and a number of kindergartens, while small kitchen bins were distributed among target residents and the staff of selected kindergartens. These actions were accompanied by information meetings with beneficiaries, where EU project experts explained the purpose and method of green waste collection. By the end of the event, the director of the Environmental Information and Education Centre (EIEC), MEPA presented environmental awareness and educational activities of the EIEC in one of the target kindergartens and distributed information materials.
The Marneuli composting plant is located on 2-ha land area. Of this, 1 ha is used for composting. The entire facility is composed of:
Designed capacity: approx. 5,000 tons annually
Current capacity: 4 tons of compost out of 20 tons green waste annually
Raw material and source: green waste from the Marneuli can factory and public market
Composting technology used: aerobic process, which involves four main components: organic matter, moisture, oxygen, and aerobic bacteria. Green waste from public market and the can factory is used as raw material. Aerobic bacteria break down the green waste in the immature compost pile, which is rich in nitrogen and has coarse texture. The maturation process of the compost takes around 2-3 months, during which time the immature compost turns into nutrient-rich porous soil.
Compost: decayed organic material used as fertilizer (soil conditioner) for growing plants. It:
enriches soil, helping retain moisture and suppress plant diseases and pests;
encourages the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down organic matter to create humus, a rich nutrient-filled material;
reduces methane emissions from landfills and lowers the carbon footprint.
The EU has selected green waste for separate collection on the following grounds:
green waste composition of municipal wastes in existing landfills in high (approx. 50%), which is problematic not just because of the resources lost, but also because when organic waste is dumped into a landfill, it undergoes anaerobic decomposition (because of the lack of oxygen) and generates methane. When released into the atmosphere, methane is 25 times more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Meanwhile, organic waste can be recycled to make compost (biological fertilizer) and other soil conditioning products;
collection of green wastes is relatively easy logistically and does not require high investments;
there is already an established green waste recycling facility in Marneuli, the only composting plant in the country. It can serve as a good example for replication in other municipalities and regions.
Waste Sector Communication Coordinator/Communication Expert
TA for Awareness and Communication to Improve Waste Management Practices in Georgia and the Visibility of EU Support to the Sector
Phone: +995 5 77 293979
Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia