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The revenue (fees) from Bulgarian clients and from selling the materials to recyclers is invested in the development and operation of separate collection systems in the municipalities. The systems include: containers, sorting facilities and transport equipment. ECOPACK Bulgaria develops the three-colored containers system: blue for paper and cardboard, yellow – for plastic and cans, and green – for glass packaging.
ECOPACK Bulgaria works with sub-contractors – some companies are engaged in picking up and transporting the packaging waste from the containers, and others are responsible for the separation of recyclable packaging waste.
Then the sorted recyclable packaging waste is sold to recyclers as a raw material for use in production. The channels for collection of packaging waste are: separate collection from household, administrative and other buildings, Industrial/commercial and collectors.
The municipalities do not have any financial relations with the Recovery Organization. Their only obligation is to define the locations of the three containers, to implement control over the population on the separate collection of waste and to support the information and education campaigns for the promotion of separate collection of packaging waste.
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Since its establishment, ECOPACK Bulgaria is organizing different information and communication activities targeted at the public, the clients and the partner municipalities. The used channels are TV, radio, on-line and social media.
ECOPACK is a partner in major nation TV green initiatives like the “Let’s do it” campaign. We also work with the municipalities via regional media. An e-newsletter is issued every quarter and a printed edition – twice per year.
Our special focus is on the kids. ECOPACK Bulgaria has developed two national campaigns, especially for this target group, implemented in the period 2011-2013. These are: Organization of eco class in over 400 schools (produced and sent training materials: 680 sets of posters, 400 manuals for teachers and 70 000 books) and the visit of the 3 D Green Eco bus (visited 66 municipalities, 430 schools, 73 000 kids).
ECOPACK organizes or supports numerous Green outdoor activities, targeted both at the public and clients. For the clients are also organized seminars and conferences on waste management, recent legal changes, etc.
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ECOPACK Bulgaria creates and manages jointly with partner Municipalities systems for separate collection of packaging waste. In 2019, such systems have been set up in 88 municipalities and include:
1. Color-coded Igloo type containers
With a volume of 1100 and 1500 liters. Blue for paper and cardboard, yellow for metal and plastic packaging, and green for glass. This is the most widely used and proven model in Europe.
2. Types of transport vehicles:
The types of containers used by ECOPACK Bulgaria require specialized waste-collection equipment and trucks.
A GPS system has been implemented to improve the quality of the service provided and enhance control over service companies. To that end, the waste-collection vehicles have been equipped with devices allowing real-time monitoring by ECOPACK Bulgaria and the respective municipalities of the route execution and tracking of any interruptions in scheduled servicing of the respective color-coded containers.
To keep citizens informed about planned routes and schedules, each truck carries a sign indicating what color containers are being serviced on that particular day. Collection frequency depends on annual waste volumes and rates and is negotiated with the respective Municipality in order to ensure regular transportation of collected packaging waste and avoid overflow and littering in the area of the containers.
3. Sorting facilities:
ECOPACK Bulgaria has built up 15 own sorting facilities and has concluded rental contracts for another 3. The organization works with 47 subcontractors and hands over packaging waste for recycling and/or recovery to 27 recycling plants in Bulgaria and abroad.
The installed mechanical sorting facilities comply with all legal and technical requirements and their geographical location has been planned to cover all established systems for separate collection. The facilities make it possible to process 1 to 8 tons per hour of separately collected packaging waste, sorting all materials in line with Art. 24, Paragraph 4 of the Ordinance on Packaging and Packaging Waste. They sort incoming waste collected from administrative buildings, the retail network, and from individual industrial plants in the territory of the respective municipalities. One of the sorting lines is specialized in processing glass packaging, ensuring an exceptional purity rate of 99.7%.
The systems for separate collection of packaging waste established in the territory of the municipalities function under the following parameters:
Size of population covered and minimum volume of the containers in place:
- For localities with a population of more than 100,000, containers of minimum volume of 3,300 l per 800 residents.
- For localities with a population of 50,000 to 100,000, containers of minimum volume of 3,300 l per 600 residents.
- For localities with a population under 50,000, containers of minimum volume of 3,300 l per 400 residents.
Collection from hotels, restaurants, and cafes – HORECA
This method essentially consists in collecting packaging waste generated at hotels, restaurants, and cafes with the assistance of the municipal administrations.
Individual household door-to-door collection
This method involves providing individual yellow containers of a volume of 120l and 240l to households in compact low-rise residential areas. The residents dispose of paper, cardboard, metal, and plastic packaging waste in these containers. Green containers for the disposal of glass packaging are made available in select locations.
Collection from retail outlets
The conditions for collection of packaging waste from retail chains, individual outlets and gas stations in partner municipalities are negotiated through the signing of contracts. The sites included in this system are provided with individual containers depending on the amount of packaging waste generated. They are included in service schedules different from those for the containers located in residential areas.
ECOPACK Bulgaria organizes public awareness campaigns aimed at improving consumer knowledge and motivation with respect to separate collection and recycling of packaging waste in Bulgaria with a focus on the three stages of Collection – Separation – Recycling; Raising consumer awareness of the benefits of separate collection; Motivating and sustaining an active and committed attitude to the protection of the environment and the saving of natural resources.