Concrete results are real indicators, that help civil society to lobby and enhance their work on environmental protection and preservation, serve as a promotor for central and local government, supporting policies and decisions for sustainable development, improving infrastructure and logistics of essential services of their state’s citizens. Milieukontakt organization, in partnership with CESVI, AJMMI and Klubi Ekologjik Krujë, monitored cleaning services of urban waste in three touristic cities of Albania, Krujë, Përmet and Saranda. In addition to the data generated by the monitoring of the service in three cities, important data have been brought by 1200 questionnaires realized to citizens and 300 questionnaires carried out with businesses. It was also worked with the community, inviting it to clean-up actions of urban waste. Area near the castle of Kruja, the “Six village” in Saranda, “Lagja e Re” and “Mejden” in Përmet are cleaned by pupils and teachers of the schools, municipalities’ representative and communities.
To present more completed the waste management situation, experts of Milieukontakt organization have realized a financial analysis of the budget for three municipalities and the financial revenues collected from taxes of the service. According to the report “Analysis of solid waste management at Kruja municipality” it turns out that this city for years doesn’t have no plan and defined methodology for calculating the cost of service. Even today, the municipality refers to the National Waste Management Plan, generation rates in 2011 with 0.6 kg/inhabitant in urban areas and 0.4 kg/inhabitant for rural areas. According to the report, the current situation of waste collection is poor, as the lack of containers, damages and poor hygiene. Although Kruja has three landfills for waste disposal, none of them is managed, becoming toxic places for residents of surrounding areas. No measure was taken for their improvement, although the Environmental Inspectorate has operated periodic penalties.
From economic and financial analysis for this municipality it turns out that the fee collected for the cleaning service, covers the cost of this service only to 32.5%, while this tariff is collected approximately 90%. In order to have more receipts from the cleaning service fee, experts of the report recommend for another billing mode, setting this fee together with other local taxes. Indicators, according to experts, show that this municipality cannot cover all its territory with the cleaning service, its quality is medium, no waste recycling initiatives, and the tariff paid does not cover the cost of the service.
Saranda, as Kruja, does not have a Local Waste Management Plan. According to municipal’s sources, the service of waste disposal is 100%, although by local monitors some areas are uncovered by this service. The quality of service in the coastal city is not delightful during the summer season, as the increased flow of tourists. The cleaning service is carried out by a private company contracted by the municipality. Although the cleaning firm charges for washing service of the streets, this service is not regularly carried out, according to the information provided by local monitors and citizens of Saranda. The landfill is officially located in the village of Bajkaj, but still deposit inert waste in the former landfill, in the area called Volloder (landfill which operated during the years 1995-2015). As in Kruja, there is no recycling or separating of waste in the city of Saranda, sporadic efforts have been made by the private firm, which provide the cleaning service. Even the cleaning company has a contract of services, with assigned items for the work carried out, the experts of the economic and financial analysis identified confusion or duplication of services items, unspecified surfaces for wiping and washing services, and no any orientation map, for municipal employees or experts of the field. Saranda municipality has been penalized by Environmental Inspectorate of State, Forests and Water (remember here the administrative penalty, decision no. 05, date 12.08.2018, with a value of 1.000.000 lek for Saranda Municipality for breaking of law no. 10463, date 22.09.2011 “For Integrated Waste Management”). The cleaning service fee, which is collected by 100%, covers entirely the cost of waste cleaning, processing and delivery to the landfill. The data is generated by financatvendore.al, since the municipality on its official website has no data. According by the local monitors of AJMMI, during the monitoring are identified increasing of waste amount during the touristic season, damaged containers (lack of wheels and covers), lack of disinfection and washing of the bins, by not respecting the contract with Saranda municipality from cleaning company.
At the same time by the monitoring of CESVI local activists in Përmet, it concluded that the cleaning service is incomplete in this municipality. It is offered at 65% of municipality area. As the two municipalities mentioned above, the Municipality of Përmet does not have a Local Waste Management Plan. The municipality covers itself the waste disposal service in the territory of the city, as well also for seven villages around. Meanwhile, about 45 villages remain outside of the service. Poor infrastructure and amortized assets, according to the representatives of this municipality, make the service without quality and limited. As many other cities, also in Përmet, waste separating and recycling process in not applied. Landfills are also without standards, very closed to rivers and without environmental permission. Otherwise by two municipalities mentioned above, the Municipality of Permet has been open and collaborative to provide information on budget and waste management costs. Study’s experts have found that the cleaning service fee is very low, although paid, it does not yet cover the cost of urban waste cleaning and moving. This finding of experts should orient the municipality to review the cleaning fee, since the tariff has been the same and not changed for years
Through this study, municipalities referring to the findings and recommendations in the report, will improve the current situation of the cleaning service in their territories, while at the same time raising citizen’s awareness to keep clean the city where they live. Organization Mileukontakt Albania together with partner organizations CESVI Përmet, Klubi Ekologjik Kruje and AJMMI Sarandë through the support provided by LevizAlbania within the Call No. 4, after successful implementation of all activities foreseen, will address recommendations to the municipalities of the three cities for improving the urban waste cleaning services.