Georgia: "Separation, Collection, Recycling"

Workshop on building up an effective separate collection and recycling system in Georgia

How should citizen best separate waste into different fractions (plastic, paper, glass, metal)? How do we convince the public to separate their waste? How could municipalities best organize the collection and assure that the collected materials will be recycled? These are some of the topics that were discussed on a workshop on October 30, 2018 in Tbilisi / Georgia, organized by the Solid Waste Management Company of Georgia (SWMCG) together with the project "Integrated Solid Waste Management System - Kutaisi" which is supporting the company in implementing a new waste management system and construction of a new regional landfill in the Imereti and Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti regions.

During the workshop a systematic step by step approach was presented for identifying practical and feasible ways to design and build a collection and recycling system. The guiding questions for the workshop are based on an in-depth study that was carried out in the project region:

  • Should recyclables be collected separate or can they be collected in a mix?
  • What investments are needed in the chain "Separation - Collection - Pre treatment - Recycling"?
  • What is the role of the stakeholders and partners along this chain (citizens, municipalities, state, state agencies, recycling industry, producing industry)

The participants of the workshop discussed and reviewed the different variants and options that are presented with the aim to support the Georgian government in the development of a well designed system for source separation, separate collection and recycling. During the workshop the option to invest in a new material recovery facility (MRF), possibly on the area of the new regional landfill near Kutaisi, was also considered.

In the workshop representatives of the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture, Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure, KfW, the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia as well as international donors and stakeholders in the field participated.

The underlying study for the proposed design options has been elaborated within the framework of "Integrated Solid Waste Management System - Kutaisi" project, under the component "Accompanying Measures Consultant" implemented by PEM CONSULT (Germany) and its associated partners INTECUS (Germany) and GAMMA (Georgia). The project "Integrated Solid Waste Management System - Kutaisi" is carried out with the financial support provided by Georgian-German cooperation, KfW, the EU Neighbourhood Investment Facility and the Georgian Government. The full investment amounts to 26 million Euro and includes the construction of a new sanitary landfill for the Imereti region according to EU standards.