Places of interest03 December 2018

Târgu-Lăpuş - the small town in the northern part of Romania is the country’s recycling champion

The city that counts no more than 12 000 inhabitants and has a recycling rate 10 times higher than that registered in rest of the country



Romania is recognized as an ecologically friendly location mainly due to its virgin forests, its wild and untouched nature and also due to the traditional customs which are widely preserved especially in the countryside. However, with regard to modern ecology, the major cities of Romania are EU laggards in terms of sustainability and most notably recycling. The national average is situated somewhere around just 5% compared to Western European countries where the recycling rate exceeds 50%. Târgul Lăpuş, a city that does not say much at a national level, let alone at a European level, has a much better average, recycling about 60% of its produced waste.

It all started eight years ago when the City Hall invested EUR 1 million, obtained through EU PHARE funds, into a selective collection system consisting of self-compacting vehicles, bins and selective collection batteries, which it distributed on the city’s radius. Of course, either due to lack of knowledge or because of ignorance, people were very reluctant when the system was first instated, but the fines and the consistency with which this system was promoted, prompted inhabitants to be more and more attentive to the way they organize their waste. Interestingly, this habit and the general responsibility of the people was imposed not only through fines, but also through interactive approaches such as recurrent promotional activities and even social responsibility contests aimed at raising ecological awareness.

Moreover, the city does not plan to stop here, as it is interested in acquiring a treatment plant, which will convert household waste into compost, that is, into organic fertilizer. According to estimates, this move would raise the recycling rate even further, taking it from 60% to 80%, which would make Târgu-Lăpuş a true sustainability role model even at a European level.  


l (photo)

Claudiu Bolcu




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