Tbilisi City will have a 10-year waste management strategy by the end of 2021. Works on the document is currently being funded by the EBRD. The agreement between Tbilisi Municipality and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was signed in 2018, and its implementation began in January 2020.
This document defines what steps should be taken to move Tbilisi to a modern waste management system. The aim of the reform is to reduce waste volumes and hazardous emissions in the city.
Tbilisi mayor Kakha Kaladze started implementation of pilot project of underground trash bins in 2019. So, the City Hall anticipated the events, did not wait for a long-term document, and installed underground trash bins on Chavchavadze avenue, which cost 7 million GEL.
The point is that the underground trash bins’ project is not working properly and the waste is disposed again in one landfill despite of installation separator bins.
Does the project contradict the EBRD document? Ludwig Stref, a German specialist who came to Georgia to develop a long-term strategy, did not comment on this issue with Business Course.
Romeo Mikautadze, head of the Tbilservice Group, says that the city is "using underground trash project very well." He admits that the underground bins do not fully perform the function for which they are created, but he also claims that the project can save hundreds of thousands of GEL.
"As the head of this company, I tell you that the operation of these underground containers costs much less than the disposal of waste elsewhere. As you know, the bins are equipped with detectors, that indicate which one is full of waste and which one should be emptied. Of course, it will be reflected on the operating costs", said Romeo Mikautadze.
To the question whether the municipality was in a hurry when it spent 7 million GEL on the project at a time when a long-term waste management strategy was not ready, Mikautadze answered:
"When Chavchavadze Avenue was rehabilitated, bins were also installed. How could we install them after the rehabilitation? Correspondingly, a reasonable period of time was selected,” said Romeo Mikautadze.
In some districts of Tbilisi there are also bins for separate waste collection, but it turns out that they do not actually work as intended, because in the end, the waste is still placed in the Lilo landfill. The head of Tbilservice Group says that today it only serves to increase of the population’s awareness.
"Today, these wastes are not recycled, they are disposed in the Lilo landfill. What technology should be used to recycle them will be reflected in the strategy. Today, the bins are used only to raise awareness," Romeo Mikautadze told Business Course.
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