Let’s Compost Together report

Let’s Compost Together report
Let’s compost together (November 2004-June 2005)
Background of the problem

Bosnia and Herzegovina is country without regulated landfill, and planned building of those is going very slow, so we do not expect solving of hard waste problem in near future. Organic waste (food, agricultural and garden waste, wood etc) is 30 – 40% of total amount and by separation of this kind we would decrease the total amount of waste that should be burned or dumped. There is market in Bosnia and Herzegovina for some kind of recyclable materials, however for recycling of organic waste we only need some space, knowledge and wish. Separate organic waste collecting and transformation to humus by composting, as a final product we have fertilizer of very good quality that can be used in gardens and for improvement of soil. There is no need any more for artificial fertilizers that pollute the soil.

Goal and objectives of the project

The basic goal of the project is initializing of composting processes in Tuzla Canton.

Objectives:

  • To present to the citizens that is possible to compost organic waste in individual houses, block of apartments and even in the urban parts of the town.
  • To produce compost of very good quality that can be used in agricultural production as better replacement for artificial fertilizers.
  • To prepare citizens for new approach to a waste problem, and prepare them for changes that will be caused by building of regional regulated landfill.
  • To decrease the total amount of waste that needs to be burned or dumped.
Activities:
  1. Contacting of people that are interested in project activities and implementation
  2. Buying of material and tools for composting bins
  3. Building of composting bin for 6 – 8 families living in the same block of apartments
  4. Building of composting bin for 4 institutions and 4 families
  5. Organizing of education about organic waste and it treatment
  6. Monitoring of process of separate organic waste collecting and composting
  7. Preparation and printing of promotional material
  8. Preparation and broadcasting of 4 jingles and 5 radio broadcasts in cooperation with Vesta radio station
  9. Organizing of two-days workshop for NGOs and representatives of involved institutions, that can spread this way of waste treatment
  10. Media promotion of project activities
  11. Informational – educational street campaign in pedestrian part of town Tuzla. Practical presentation of composting, distribution of promotional material, individual education for citizens that are more interested in the process.
  12. Organizing of meeting, presentation of the project, achieved results and possibilities of spreading the idea of composting in other municipalities of Tuzla Canton. Reporting.
Methodology and strategy:

Contacting of people that are interested in project activities and implementation

In the first month of project implementation we contacted citizens of block of apartments in104, Safvetbega Bašagića Street.

On 24th of November 2004 we organized the first meeting with Mrs. Mevlida Omerović. On the meeting we agreed on general issues about project implementation in that street (buying of material for composting bin, the location, organizing of seminar for citizens etc).

During December 2004 we made a contact with 8 institutions and organizations, beside the Center for Ecology and Energy, will dump their organic waste in composting bin located in Mihaila and Živka Crnogorčevića Street. The list of organizations involved in the project implementation is following:

  • Amica Educa
  • Save the Children
  • Expres restaurant – public soup kitchen
  • Kameleon radio station
  • Lastavica kinder garden
  • Lotos
  • Orthodox church
  • French Cultural Center
Buying of material and tools for composting bins and forming of two community composting bins

In November 2004 we focused on buying of material and tools for building of composting bins.

The first composting bin has been delivered and located in the garden of the Center for Ecology and Energy on 1st of December 2004 and it is the model of the first community-composting bin in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The second composting bin has been delivered to inhabitants of block of apartments in Safvetbega Bašagića Street on 3rd of December 2004. Representatives of the Center for Ecology and Energy, inhabitants and carpenter were there.
Each family in the block of apartments received one plastic bin with a cover for dumping of organic waste in their kitchen. On the bin was drown smiling face and a not “Feed me” in order to make composting attractive to all members of a family. “Smiling” bins were especially interesting to children.

Educational workshops

On 1st of December 2004 in the apartment of Mrs. Omerović we organized the first seminar about composting process for all inhabitants of the block of apartments. It was good opportunity to involve in the project implementation all inhabitants of the block of apartments even those who were skeptic in the beginning.

For disabled inhabitants we organized individual education in their apartments and Mrs. Omerović will collect organic waste.

4 families from the block of apartments in the neighborhood also join the project implementation and now in the community-composting bin 10 families dump their organic waste.

Considering organizations involved in the project, it was necessary that all employees participate, and it was not possible to get them on one place at the same time, so we decided to organize individual education in each organization. We explained them process and advantages of composting process and distributed plastic bins. After monitoring we concluded that each organization dump their organic waste in community-composting bin in front of the Center for Ecology and Energy.

Through monitoring of the project we additionally educated citizens about composting process (mixing, emptying of composting bin, making a pile, sifting).

Monitoring of separate collecting of organic waste and composting

Monitoring of separate organic waste collecting is organized twice a week in each organization, in order to encourage them more and to help if there is a need for help.

In the beginning of the project realization we had problems with motivation of people in Express restaurant, where the public soup kitchen is located, because of insufficient knowledge about the process. We visited the restaurant two weeks continuously and they decided to join the project implementation. Because of large amounts of organic waste, they asked for the second plastic bin, so that they can collect and use all organic waste. Participation of this restaurant is very important for the Center for Ecology and Energy, because a lot of citizens are coming there, so it is a good opportunity to spread the idea of composting.

Monitoring of the process in the block of apartments is organized once a month, and when inhabitants need more information, we organize it more often.

Preparation and printing of promotional material

During the project implementation we prepared and printed:

  • 250 handbooks on composting
  • 5000 leaflets
  • 4000 brochures
  • 500 posters
  • 200 cotton bags
  • 50 T-shirts
Information about the project were also published in a brochure about activities of the Center for Ecology and Energy:
  • 1000 pieces in Bosnian language
  • 500 pieces in German
  • 500 pieces in English
Media presentation of the project
  • Preparation of jingle and radio broadcasts in cooperation with Vesta radio
    We planned to prepare 4 jingles and 5 radio broadcasts in order to promote idea of composting.
    We prepared 5 jingles that attracted the attention of citizens.
    Radio broadcasts are broadcasted once a week but because of great interest that this radio station showed on the topic, we agreed to broadcast 18 broadcasts in total. They were broadcasted in the morning between 11.15 and 11.30.
    Broadcasting started in February and lasted until the end of project implementation, as followed:
    28.02.2005. – Introduction of the Center for Ecology and Energy and the project
    07.03.2005. – Participants in the project implementation
    14.03.2005. – General about composting
    21.03.2005. – Organic waste and structural material
    28.03.2005. – How to build composting bin
    04.04.2005. – Filling of composting bin and monitoring of material
    11.04.2005. – Processes in composting bin (importance of mixing)
    18.04.2005. – Usage of compost
    25.04.2005. – Waste in environment
    02.05.2005. – Eco-advices about composting
    09.05.2005. – General rules about composting
    16.05.2005. – Composting in front yard
    23.05.2005. – Rules for filling of composting bin
    30.05.2005. – Participants in project/guests from Gornja Tuzla
    07.06.2005. – About the project / guest Sabina Jukan
    13.06.2005. – Interview with representatives of organizations involved in the project
    20.06.2005. – Interview with representatives of school Sjenjak
    27.06.2005. – Interview with participants on meeting
  • Presentation of the project through other media
06.12.2004. – Interview for radio Tuzla and radio Slobodna Evropa
07.02.2005. – Statement on radio Vesta about waste problem and composting as one solution
08.02.2005. – On RTV TK short media presentation recorded in the garden of the Centre for Ecology and Energy, where was presented the process of composting
22.04.2005. – On RTV TK about the first street campaign on composting
22.04.2005. – On FTV in the show ”Federacija Danas”
22.04.2005. – Articles in Dnevni Avaz and Front Slobode newspaper, and statements on radio Tuzla and radio Vesta
  • On TV Živinice, support to “Bašigovci” primary school
23.06.2005. – Article in Dnevni Avaz about the second street campaign
24.06.2005. Press conference – presentation of the project results on RTV TK, radio Tuzla, TV Tuzla, radio Vesta
June 2005 – presentation of results on RTV TK in show “Žive slike ljeta”
June 2005 – on FTV in show “Federacija Danas”
Two-day workshop

03./04. of July 2005 we organized two-days workshop about composting process for NGOs representatives, representatives of different institutions and other interested citizens on national level. 15 participants took participation on the seminar, as follow: representatives of NGO “Eko zeleni” Gornja Tuzla, NGO “Zeleni” Sarajevo, NGO “Bosfam” Tuzla, NGO “Topeer” Doboj, NGO “Center for Sustainable Environmental Development”, NGO “Fondeko” Sarajevo and others. They were satisfied with new knowledge that they received as well as with printed material, and they showed interest to start similar processes in their environment.
(Photo-documentation on CD)

Street campaigns 

Street campaigns are the best way to make closer some idea to the public. In order of better understanding of waste separation we presented on the street campaign different type of bins: for mixed waste, paper and composting bin. Beside that citizens could see different types of organic waste (fruits, vegetables, branches, leaves…) as well as final product – compost. Beside that, we also presented the process of mixing and process of composting practically. Employees and volunteers of the Center for Ecology and Energy organized and leaded both campaigns.

On 22nd of April 2005, on Earth Day was organized first street campaign in the center of Tuzla. It was good opportunity to make closer the idea of composting to citizens of Tuzla. Citizens were very interested for this subject. During the campaign, we distributed 1200 flayers, and 16 citizens were interested for additional education in the Center for Ecology and Energy.
On 22nd of June 2005 we organized the second street campaign. In that time we had more divers of printed material so we distributed 1500 flayers, 300 brochures and 56 cotton bags. No matter on hot summer weather citizens were interested and raised a lot of questions, and they also could see practically the process of composting.

Meeting 

On 24th of June 2005 we organized meeting where we presented results of the project and experience of people in Switzerland about community composting. Participants of the meeting were representatives of Tuzla municipality, NGOs or individuals who have taken or would like to take participation in the project. The conclusion of the meeting is that beside problems that occurred during the project implementation (there is no implementing of regulations in waste management; citizens pay for waste according to square meters of living or working space, and not according to amounts…) results are very good and pilot steps were made when we speak about composting. Representatives of Tuzla municipality promised that they would, according to their possibilities, support progressive ideas of the Center for Ecology and Energy that leads toward healthier and cleaner environment.

Activities done but not planned in the project

Additional education

On 25th of November 2004 we held workshop in a camp Mačkovac, where the interest for composting was shown from four families. As a result of workshop we made composting bin for one family and the three other could see how to make their own composting bin and start with individual composting process.

On 26th of March 2005 we organized workshop on composting in Roma part of town in Živinice, and the target group was women and children among these people. 20 women participated, and they are mostly housewives and work with organic waste, as well as their children.

Compost as final result of the process can be used for different purposes, in gardens or for flowers, but for Roma community that can be valuable product for sale. Considering that Roma people do not pay for waste treatment, composting of organic waste can lead to less smell in their community.

On 10th of May 2005 on initiation of personnel of primary school “Sjenjak” we organized workshop for their teachers. Considering that they would like to start composting in the beginning of 2005/2006 school year, the Center for Ecology and Energy will organize a workshop for pupils.

On 12th of May 2005 we organized education in primary school Bašigovci, Živinice municipality where teachers and pupils already have two composting bins in their garden, and teachers, pupils and parents dump their organic waste.

Individual education

As we attracted attention of Tuzla’s citizens through radio broadcasts, jingles, street campaigns and seminars we needed to establish open day for composting issues. Open day for all citizens interested in composting is Friday.

Achievements/outcomes

During the project implementation we achieved following results:

  1. We established two community composting bins in the town centre, one in front of the office of the Center for Ecology and Energy and one in Safvetbega Bašagića street
  2. 150 citizens started composting
  3. After media campaign, seminars and street campaigns we organized workshops in Cijuge suburb for Roma people, primary school Bašigovci, primary school Sjenjak and in camp Mačkovac.
  4. In the project framework we planned 4 jingles and 5 radio broadcasts, but realized 5 jingles and 18 radio broadcasts.
  5. We prepared and printed promotional material:
    • Handbook (250 planned, 250 achieved)
    • Brochure (1000 planned, 4000 achieved)
    • Leaflet (2000 planned, 5000 achieved)
    • Poster (500 planned, 500 achieved)
    • T-shirts (we did not planned it in the project, but we decreased number of cotton bags and printed 50 T-shirts)
    • Cotton bags (250 planned, 200 achieved)
  6. 150-200 kg compost made
Note: 

The idea, design and technical support in preparation of promotional material was given by George Stiff, volunteer of the Center, which gave us the opportunity to print material of very good quality.

Problems and project changes:

Considering that waste treatment in Tuzla is paid according to the space (in square meters) of the building and not according to the amounts produced, the only thing that could encourage citizens for composting was awareness raising. We had the biggest problem with motivation of employers in soup kitchen “Ekspres” that produce large amounts of organic waste, but we decided to be patient with them, and at the end they understood the process and agreed with us. After that they asked for the second plastic bin in order to collect all organic waste that they produce.

Also, in the second phase of the project, we had problem with inhabitants of block of apartments in Safvetbega Bašagića street, where a lot of older and disabled people live. Mrs. Omerović, contact person for this block of apartments figured that she has great responsibility to this people and that it is too much obligations for her. So, we moved composting bin in front of primary school Sjenjak, where pupils and teachers are interested to start composting. Besides them, inhabitants of the block of apartments in a neighbourhood will also join them.

Organizing of two-days workshop was very useful because people from all parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina had opportunity to hear and learn about composting process, considering that the Center for Ecology and Energy is only organization working on that issue – according to some foreign experts (Mrs. Penelope Vincent – Sweet).

In the first phase of the project money was spent on tools, composting bins and media campaign, and in the second phase majority was spent on printing of promotional material.

Products Developed and Avaliable at REC

Basic product developed during the project implementation are followed:

  • Two community composting bins
  • Tools for composting
  • Plastic cans for organic waste
  • 150 educated citizens
  • 2 informative street campaigns
  • 250 handbooks for composting
  • 4000 brochures for composting
  • 5000 leaflets for composting
  • 500 posters
  • 200 cotton bags
  • 50 T-shirts
  • Press conference (TV and radio)
  • 3 newspaper articles
  • 8 press statement
  • 2 radio interviews
  • 5 TV shows
  • 5 jingles
  • 18 radio broadcasts
  • 150 – 200 kg of compost
Through media campaigns, street campaigns and workshops large number of people had opportunity to hear about composting process. One of the most important results is self-initiation from primary schools “Sjenjak” and “Bašigovci”, and from camp “Mačkovac” and Roma community Cijuge. Very good indicator of success is also large number of citizens calling and coming to the Center for advices about composting.

Contribution in the project implementation was also given by our partner organization from Switzerland through advising, donation of blankets for compost-piles and seed of Kresse herb (it is used for monitoring of quality of compost) that we do not have on Bosnian market at this moment. Donation of machine for cutting of structural material is also very important because it will help in collecting and cutting of structural material for larger number of citizens (in cooperation with municipality). The machine will be transported soon.

We submit, with narrative and financial report also:

  • Folder with copies of invoices for the second phase
  • Folder with reports from workshops, street campaigns, meeting, newspaper articles
  • CD with radio broadcasts recorded
  • CD with photos of activities
  • DVD with activities on street campaigns and TV shows
  • 3 posters
  • 3 brochures
  • 3 leaflets
  • 3 handbooks
Note: 3 T-shirts and 3 cotton bags we gave you during the project evaluation on 30th of May 2005, and folder with copies of invoices for the first phase and CD with jingles we sent by mail in April 2005.

Lessons Learned
  • Media and street campaigns with a lot of practical examples is very good approach to the citizens
  • Meeting where results and achievements of the project can be presented to the potential ambassadors is good practice
  • Individual education for interested organizations and families is good way for promoting
  • In the composting process each person involved need to be responsible for all phases of composting process
  • Different types of promotional material help in attracting of attention of wider public
  • Through implementation of this project staff of the Center for Ecology and Energy figured that although hard it is possible to achieve project goals. People in Bosnia and Herzegovina are not encouraged through law regulations but there are environmentally friendly oriented people that are willing to change their habits.
Follow Up

Monitoring of two established community composting bins and the process as well as spreading the idea toward interested people wider.

Minimum of four workshops on composting topic and support to individuals that are willing to spread idea in their environment or family.

We planned to organize more street campaigns in Bosnia and Herzegovina in cooperation with members of EkomrežaBiH network.

Considering that one of involved institution is kindergarten “Lastavica” in the project implementation and that staff and children from this institution bring their organic waste to the composting bin in front of the Center for Ecology and Energy, and that few schools showed interest for composting, we think that in the future this idea should be spread in these circles because children are the best ambassadors of composting idea in their environment.

Example: office of the Center for Ecology and Energy is on 120 square meters and pays for waste transport and treatment each month 120 * 0,80 = 96,00 KM. On the other hand, we recycle paper and compost organic material, so each month we have two bags of 10 liters of waste in total, and we need to pay them 96,00 KM. This is one absurd example, but it also works in households.

In the future we will devote ourselves to change this practice and to start paying waste treatment and transport according to amounts of waste produced.