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According to European obligations, by 2020 Croatia should be separating 50% of recyclable waste and the Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection will soon put its Waste Management Plan for 2016-2020 up for public debate, with 457 million euros for this project coming from the European Union operational programme on competitiveness.

The ministry has organised seven panel discussions for city and municipal mayors in order to inform local government units about the draft plan. Local government units are responsible for establishing waste management systems in their territory.

One panel was held in Sisak on Thursday and Minister Slaven Dobrovic informed the heads of Sisak-Moslavina, Zagreb, Karlovac, and Bjelovar-Bilogora counties of the directives of the new plan.

"We have to improve the ecological and economic aspects of the plan. Large and cumbersome waste disposal centres for the most part do not satisfy ecological objectives of separating waste and are very expensive for citizens. We have to strengthen the infrastructure of sorting waste, that is sorting lines that separate most matter as raw material which will lead to a reduction in costs. As such, local government units have to determine sites for smaller recycling yards which will be equipped with sorters, temporary storage facilities, composters, etc. Even though we are behind schedule, I believe that with the development of a complete waste management system we can catch up. I am thinking of citizens here too and household composters, local utility providers to collect separated recyclable matter and centres for reuse of usable waste. We are preparing public tenders for local government units so that by the end of the year we can start preparing these premises," Dobrovic said.

All these changes, he added, are directed at reducing costs for citizens. Two large centres that were constructed based on the old concept, he said, have shown to be uneconomical and do not satisfy ecological standards.

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