Project documentary raises awareness of recycling and inclusion of informal collectors

100 green club members from 5 schools in Mitrovicë/a South were invited to a screening of a documentary showing the results of the project ‘Strengthening Social Inclusion and Economic Empowerment of marginalized groups in Mitrovicë/a’, funded by the European Union and implemented by Danish Refugee Council.

As part of this project, 400 recycling containers were provided to schools, institutions and businesses to give citizens in Mitrovicë/a South the opportunity to recycle. In addition, the establishment of Social Enterprise treciklo helped create jobs for informal waste collectors and ensure recycling containers are regularly emptied and recycling in Mitrovicë/a increases.

The documentary gave students an insight into how their efforts to separate recyclable waste contribute to providing employment and better incomes for informal waste collectors and divert waste from landfills.

Green Club members were not only able to discuss ways of raising awareness of recycling in their schools and at home, but also to learn more about how social enterprises can help marginalized people find jobs.

Apart from the Social Enterprise treciklo, DRC also invited ‘Grate kryefamiliare’, a social enterprise supported by the European Union and run by widowed women from Mitrovicë/a. The women started a school buffet and catering business, which provides employment for 20 vulnerable women.

To read more about Social Enterprise treciklo, go to Treciklo - Mitrovicë

To read more about other Social Enterprises created with the support of the European Union, visit the EEVG facebook page

 

EU-funded project takes first step to introduce recycling in schools in Mitrovicë/a South

In January 2016, the project ‘Strengthening Social Inclusion and Economic Empowerment of marginalized groups in Mitrovicë/a’, funded by the European Union Office in Kosovo and implemented by Danish Refugee Council, began implementing a collection scheme for recyclable materials, ‘Mitrovica Recycles’, giving citizens in Mitrovicë/a South the opportunity to recycle plastics and aluminium cans.

With co-funding provided by Sida and the assistance of Prishtina-based NGO Green Art Center (GAC), 3 primary schools, 2 secondary schools and the Municipal building were selected to pilot at-source recycling. As a first step, GAC helped establish Green Clubs in the 5 participating schools.

217 Green Club members between the ages of 12-18 were trained by GAC on the importance of environmental protection and recycling, separation of waste into recyclable and non-recyclable materials and the role of Green Clubs in promoting recycling in their respective schools.

In a second step, all 5 schools and the municipal building will be equipped with separation containers in classrooms and hallways to enable proper recycling. As a result, over 4000 children and youths as well as municipal employees and visitors will have access to recycling opportunities. The recycled materials will be collected by the Social Enterprise treciklo, providing employment and income opportunities to informal waste collectors and diverting waste from landfills.

 

 

Cargo tricycles and protective clothing support the work of informal collectors in Mitrovicë/a

On 22 January, representatives of the Regional Development Agency North (RDA North), the Social Enterprise treciklo and the Municipality of South Mitrovicë/a, handed over cargo tricycles, protective clothing and collection tools to selected informal collectors. In the presence of the Municipality of South Mitrovicë/a, OSCE and other stakeholders, it was highlighted that informal collectors of recyclable materials perform a valuable service to the community by making sure that recyclable materials such as PET bottles and other plastics can be recycled.

Providing uniforms and transport vehicles to informal collectors is an important first step in recognizing their contribution to environment protection and recycling.¨says Nasuf Aliu, Director of Economic Development, Municipality of South Mitrovicë/a.

Most informal recycling is done by members of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities. Many families derive partial or all of their income from collecting waste, often with the participation of children. Informal collection is often done under hazardous conditions affecting the health of children and adults alike. Therefore, before signing the agreement for use of tricycles, all collectors participated in a training on health and safety in recycling, traffic safety and the negative consequences of child labour.

Supporting the work of informal collectors is one component of the project ‘Strengthening Social Inclusion and Economic Empowerment of marginalized groups in Mitrovicë/a’, funded by the European Union Office in Kosovo and implemented by the Danish Refugee Council. In addition, the project established a Social Entreprise, treciklo, which employs members of the Albanian and Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian community and is managed by RDA North. Treciklo buys PET, HDPE and aluminium cans from marginalized informal collectors. The Social Enterprise also pays the required 3% tax on materials purchased from informal collectors as required by Kosovo law.

In the coming weeks, Danish Refugee Council and the Municipality of South Mitrovicë/a are also piloting a collection scheme with households and schools co-funded by Sida. With funding from the European Union Office in Kosovo, separation containers will be placed with households, schools and the Municipal building to give citizens of South Mitrovicë/a the opportunity to recycle and support informal collectors at the same time.

The informal collectors will have access to the containers and receive fair payment from the Social Enterprise for the materials collected. Thus, collectors registered will take steps towards formal employment and the use of hazardous practices and child labour will be discouraged. Official recognition of the work carried out by collectors will also contribute to promoting a positive image of informal collectors and combat stigmatization.

Mitrovicë/a Municipality and DRC sign contract for use of land for Social Enterprise

On 27 May, Mitrovicë/a Municipality and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) signed the contract for use of land and an agreement of cooperation for establishing Mitrovicë/a’s first Social Enterprise in recycling. The enterprise is part of the project "Social inclusion and economic empowerment of marginalized groups in Mitrovicë/a", funded by the European Union. 

The main activities of this project are the creation of a Social Enterprise for collection, processing and sale of recycled materials. The Social Enterprise facility will be constructed in the Business Park and managed by the Regional Development Agency (RDA) North as a project.

Mayor Bahtiri thanked the Country Director of DRC, Kristen Stec, for finding projects of common interest in his municipality. He pledged continued cooperation in the future for the realization of this and other projects that benefit the citizens of Mitrovicë/a.

On behalf of DRC, Ms Stec also thanked Mayor Bahtiri personally for his cooperation and the assistance of his staff during the implementation of this project.

The ‘Strengthening social inclusion and economic empowerment of marginalized groups in Mitrovicë/a’ is funded by the European Union and implemented by DRC.

 

 

AN EU FUNDED PROJECT MANAGED BY THE EUROPEAN UNION OFFICE IN KOSOVO