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Ljubljana, Slovenia

IMPACTPaperRec / Ljubljana, Slovenia
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GENERAL DATA

NATIONAL AND REGIONAL SYSTEM

Legislation & targets

On the national level general provisions on waste collection and waste treatment are set in the “Environment protection act” and in the Decree on waste.  Separate collection of municipal waste (including paper) is regulated with the “Order on the management of separately collected fractions in the public service of urban waste management”.
Municipalities and public waste management services are responsible for the collection of municipal waste.      There is no regional legislation on waste management. On a local level (the City Municipality of Ljubljana) “Ordinance on municipal waste collection and removal” gives the mandate for waste-related public services to the public waste management company Snaga. The Ordinance sets out:
–    The competencies of Snaga: responsible for the installation and maintenance of the waste collection and waste management infrastructure, regular waste removal from households and other entities (ex. collection centres), informing the users how to correctly separate their waste etc.
–    The rights and obligations of the users of the public service (i.e. citizens): they are responsible for correct and consistent separate waste collection.
The professional supervision of the implementation of the Ordinance is in the hands of the municipal inspectorate that can also impose a fine to those who do not respect the provisions of the Ordinance. General and paper-specific recycling targets correspond to those stipulated in EU legislation.

EPR system

The “Decree on packaging and packaging waste handling” introduces EPR for packaging. It also has an impact on the collection, recycling, reuse and recovery of the graphic paper fraction since graphic paper is collected along with paper and cardboard packaging.  In accordance with the provisions of the Law there are 6 EPR schemes on the national level. They have to operate in the entire territory of Slovenia and therefore also in Ljubljana. This system is uniform regarding to the waste collection. Snaga is responsible for separate waste collection and does not sort separately collected packaging – plastic, metals, paper (including graphic paper) and glass. EPR schemes are responsible for further processing of all collected materials.

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WASTE COLLECTION SCHEME

The collection of residual waste and bio-waste is provided by separate containers/bins of different sizes (80l – 770l). The frequency of collection varies depending on the population density. Residents of multi-apartment buildings and houses share the bins for residual waste and for bio-waste, while those living in family houses usually have individual bins for both.

The collection of separate fractions (paper and cardboard, lightweight packaging and glass) was introduced in 2004 with collection points around the city, consisting of three colour-coded 1100l containers: yellow for lightweight packaging (plastics, metals and drink cartons), blue for paper and cardboard, green for glass. The bring points in the city consist either of usual containers of 1100l (emptied every two weeks or more frequently if necessary) or underground containers with a capacity of 5000l (emptied regularly depending on the population density from daily to weekly).

Underground collection units are used in the centre of Ljubljana to replace common waste bins and thus unburden public areas and make the city look nicer. Glass, packaging and paper can be deposited in underground collection units by anybody, while a special access card is needed to deposit residual and bio-waste. Such card is issued free of charge to all residents and households in the vicinity of the collection units. The use of the card records the waste input and determines the level of the monthly waste bill. There are currently 56 collection units and 30 more are planned. The aim is to ensure that the maximum distance of any user from the unit is 150 metres.

Today separate collection of recyclables is also possible door-to-door (household bins for packaging and, from 2013, also for paper and cardboard).

There are two recycling yards where different types of waste from residents is accepted, including paper and cardboard packaging (with no limitations).

Service to the citizens:litres/inhabitants

37,5 kg/inh/year

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INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION

Snaga has been focusing on raising awareness about the importance of separate waste collection for more than ten years now.
Firstly the focus was on educating citizens how to correctly separate waste and explaining why the separate waste collection is important. Therefore several tools have been developed: a) waste alphabet (a list that indicates in which bin goes which type of waste. It was published along with the yearly brochure), b) e-alphabet search (application for correct separate waste collection), c) providing information on Snaga’s web pages, d) writing about paper collection on the backside of the monthly invoice, e) yearly brochure, f) educational programmes for children of different age.In 2013 Snaga shifted its communication strategy and redefined its activities, goals and responsibilities. It was decided to move efforts away from awareness-raising on separate collection, and towards encouraging citizens to reduce the amount of waste they produce, promoting reduction, reuse and responsible consumption. Snaga also focused on food waste, and on how citizens can be more responsible about the amount of food they buy and throw away. Towards the end of 2013, the first reuse centre in Ljubljana opened its doors. Surveys show that thanks to these efforts almost 70 % of residents make sure that their products are being reused when they do not need them anymore.Snaga manages 3 web pages and uses social media (Facebook, Twitter). One of the web pages (www.mojiodpadki.si) is addressed to the users, allowing them to have information on consumption and to communicate with the company. Users may set up a free SMS reminder of the waste collection schedule, monitor collection costs and update their services.The communication campaigns and activities related to raising awareness about the importance of separate waste collection are financed by Snaga.

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EVOLUTION PAPER & CARBOARD WASTE COLLECTED

Since 2008, the main increase in collected quantities of PfR has been through door-to-door collection and bring banks, whereas the quantities collected in recycling yards have remained comparatively low and stable over the years. Over the same period there has been a similar trend of increase also in other separately collected fractions.
Most of the paper and cardboard is collected through the door-to-door system and also in bring banks. Minimal quantities are also collected from the recycling yards.
The quantity of paper among residual waste has fallen significantly between 2011 and 2014 when the door to door collection for paper and cardboard was introduced.
Nowadays the average percentage of paper in residual waste is estimated to be 8 % (July 2016).

PAPER AND CARDBOARD WASTE TREATMENT

Pursuant to a contract, all separately collected fractions are taken over by the PRO Slopak. The processed paper and cardboard are used to make paper bags, sanitary paper and paper towels, carton egg boxes, envelopes, notebooks, folders etc.
Paper and cardboard found in residual waste is being landfilled.

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COSTS AND REVENUE, RESOURCES

Fees for waste management services in Ljubljana are based on the Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) principle. PAYT was first introduced around 2000 for mixed municipal waste and starting from April 2013 also for the door-to-door collection system of yellow (lightweight packaging) and blue (paper and cardboard) containers. The transition happened gradually: first the residual waste collection frequency was reduced by 50% while the yellow lid bin for packaging waste was introduced; as a second step the collection frequency was further reduced to 75% and the blue lid bin for waste paper was introduced.

By using specialised software, Snaga designed optimised waste collection route and was able to reduce the frequency of waste collection as a measure to encourage people to separate waste at source and to reduce waste management costs for households. The time necessary to collect waste from the same number of users was reduced by 10% and the route length was shortened by 17% – this resulted in lowering the monthly cost per household to an average of 8€ (in 2015). The costs for households in Ljubljana are among lowest in Slovenia – average yearly cost across the country is 150€/household per year compared to less than 100€/household per year in Ljubljana.

Changes in the relevant local legislation were also needed in order to enable the implementation of the new PAYT system. In cooperation with the City of Ljubljana, necessary changes were introduced including: Snaga issues monthly invoice for 10 different services including residual waste collection fees which incorporate among others for the separate collection relevant fees for:
–    separate door-to-door collection of packaging waste; (the processing of collected waste is covered by EPR fees);
–    separate door-to-door collection of bio-waste (indicated separately on the monthly invoice but included in the total of 8€);
–    waste disposal in recycling yards.
Separate waste collection pays off since waste treatment costs for separately collected waste are lower.
At the end of 2014 due to the increased share of separately collected waste and consequently smaller share of landfilled waste, Snaga was able to issue a credit note to all of its users equivalent to the December invoice. At the end of December 2015, the payment of the December’s invoice was further reduced by 60%.
The same system described above holds also for small businesses.

The total cost for waste collection and sorting was €12,995,338 in 2015, while the system generated revenues of
€11,109,286.57 In 2015, the system therefore covered 85.49 % of the costs.

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STAKEHOLDER SATISFACTION

 

 

Citizens in Ljubljana seem to be overall very satisfied with the waste management services provided by the public company Snaga1.  Especially appreciated are the reliability and high quality of the services, but also other aspects of the services are valued (effectiveness, practicality, good service for money, transparency).

There is universal agreement among respondents in terms of being well informed about how to sort their general waste. They usually find information on how to sort their waste on the website of Snaga, on the containers themselves and through leaflets distributed to their mailbox. However some concerns have been expressed with regards to sorting of paper and cardboard specifically (2 respondents state being rather poorly informed on this issue). 7 respondents know that there is specific information on paper and cardboard available whereas 10 do not know whether such specific information exists. All respondents state they either always sort their waste or sort it very often.
The majority of respondents state they know how to sort their waste and have the means to do so (enough time and space at home, access to convenient collection system). However, 2 respondents find the space at their home rather limited for this purpose.

Apart from citizens, several other stakeholders have given their opinion on the performance of the system2.
Overall, stakeholders appear to be satisfied with the services provided by the municipality. Snaga as WM company (collector) and the WM department of the municipality are very satisfied with all aspects of the WM services. Some concerns are raised by the paper mill regarding the reliability of the services and the ratio of value for money. This might be related to the fact that the recycler does not have a long-term contract with the municipality and therefore does not see it as a long-term reliable source of material.

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MAIN PROBLEMS/CHALLENGES

The main problems with the separate collection of paper and cardboard identified by the stakeholders are the following:

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The blocked access to the bins for door-to-door collection is caused either because of parked cars or (from the point of view of the collector) or because the user does not prepare properly the bin for emptying.
  •  Theft of paper and cardboard from containers causes material damage (breaking in the containers often damages the locking mechanism and destroys the bin) and financial loss (for Snaga and ultimately the users).
  • Citizens are mainly dissatisfied with the openings of the underground containers for separate collection. In their opinion the shape is too small and not adapted for throwing in paper and cardboard material.

More information:

Igor Petek
Snaga
igor.petek@snaga.si
+386 (1) 4779 637

1 Based on a sample of 17 respondents

2 2 small shops and businesses, 1 WM company, 1 paper mill, 1 employee of the municipality waste management department, 1 NGO

 

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