Good waste management practices bring Prilep the first Greenest Municipality Award
If we do not handle the waste properly, we endanger our natural resources, severely disturb the biodiversity and seriously affect our and the future of the generations to come.
The Municipality of Prilep has recognised the importance of this issue a long time ago. Since 2012, it has in place a door to door system for separation and collection of waste. The system was gradually scaled up to cover a remarkable 75% of the households last year. Along with the benefits for the local community came also the recognition for the efforts – the Greenest Municipality Award for best waste management practices for 2021.
Waste management is one of the biggest environmental challenges. The EU has been taking it seriously and has introduced a circular economy concept - one of the main blocks of the Green Deal, Europe’s new agenda for sustainable growth. The latter sees waste not only as a challenge, but also as an opportunity for development.
“Moving towards a recycling society, a circular economy and green development is to the benefit of all of us. But this takes a coordinated and efficient action of the authorities, at both central and local level. And the EU will remain ready to politically and financially assist positive initiatives in that regard. Also through the Green Agenda of the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans”, said Ambassador Geer at the presentation of the award.
The EU, as the biggest donor in North Macedonia, has so far supported the waste management sector with over 50 million EUR. This includes setting up in the east and northeast regions of the country self-sustainable and integrated waste management systems, fully compliant with EU environmental standards. In order to help come closer to the goals of the Green Deal, the EU will provide to municipalities also grants for energy efficiency of public buildings – something of paramount importance in the circumstances.
The Greenest Municipality call was launched on 3 March 2022 on the occasion of the World Wildlife Day. All municipalities of North Macedonia were invited to apply by showcasing their best examples of solid waste management in 2021. Eight municipalities: Berovo, Centar (Skopje), Kavadarci, Ohrid, Pehchevo, Prilep, Tetovo and Zelenikovo submitted applications. Prilep was selected as the winner in the competition by a jury consisting of experts from the EU Delegation, the organisations Go Green and Eko-svest and Europe House Skopje. The EU Delegation expects even more entries and best practices in the next edition of the award.