Supporting Serbia’s First Eco-Municipality To-Be

Many Serbian municipalities have set high goals for their waste management, with Cajetina aiming to be the country’s first eco-municipality. The Swedish Gästrike Återvinnare and SKL International support them with technical assistance.

The ambition is to develop an innovative waste plan and at the same time introduce waste sorting in two cities that receive more than 500 000 tourists during peak season. A big but exciting challenge.

“Together we have taken important steps towards realising a new waste plan and improved waste disposal,” said Per-Olof Hallberg, International Advisor at the recycling company Gästrike Återvinnare, at a capacity building session in Zlatibor in late March.

The workshop focused on challenges surrounding successful behavior change communication, the role of appropriate tax structures in achieving good waste sorting, and useful examples of waste plans from Sweden.

Jana and co

Jana Pavlovic, environmental officer at Serbia’s local government association SCTM.

The support is part of a broader cooperation between Serbia’s local government association, SCTM, and their Swedish equivalent, SALAR/SKL, to strengthen Serbian municipalities ahead of potential EU accession. Through the initiative, a number of local governments in Serbia receive direct technical support in areas such as environment and emergency preparedness.

“Waste is one of the areas in the field of environment where municipalities play a very important role in meeting EU standards,” said Jana Pavlovic at SCTM’s Environment Department.

Cajetina municipality enjoys a high level of political awareness about the importance of an improved waste management system. A central focus is on primary selection of waste and Cajetina is keen to learn from Swedish experiences to improve existing practices in its own municipality.

åer nånting

Per-Olof Hallberg from Gästrike Återvinnare shares the Swedish experience.

“We are now moving from planning to action – an exciting phase. We look forward to our continued work here!” said Per-Olof Hallberg, Gästrike Återvinnare.