Croatian Environment and Nature Protection Minister Slaven Dobrovic presented at a news conference in Zagreb on Monday a project to establish reuse centres where various second-hand items received from citizens may be repaired and resold rather than disposed of as waste, and the project will be co-financed by the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund by seven million kuna in 2016.
Minister Dobrovic praised reuse centres as an important segment of sustainable waste management, underscoring that reuse is most environmentally beneficial option
There are over 8,560 reuse centres across the European Union employing nearly 40,000 people.
Reuse centres are places where reusable objects, such as clothing, footwear, furniture and books, are collected from people who no longer need them and prepared for further distribution. Citizens will be able to take such items to a reuse centre where they will be cleaned, repaired and resold. Sales will take place on the premises of reuse centres and online.
Asked by reporters when reuse centres may be put into operation in Croatia, the minister explained that the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund had prepared public advertisements for establishing such centres and now units of local self-government were expected to allot space for those facilities, which could be disused factories or other abandoned places.
Dobrovic also expects cooperation and concerted action from war veterans' associations, non-governmental organisations and religious communities for that cause.
The fund's director, Sven Muller, said he hoped that a dozen centres might be set up this year, noting that there were already such centres, for instance "Humana Nova" in the northern town of Cakovec and "Reto Centar" in Zagreb.
Dobrovic presented figures about 404 kilogrammes of waste being produced per capita in Croatia in 2013, and 85% of that was landfilled. whereas in the EU each person generated 481 kg of municipal waste in 2013, and 43% was recycled or composted, while 31% was landfilled. The minister hopes that the new project will change the situation in Croatia for the better.