Starting from the half of this May, Romanians can use a new tool that helps them to collect waste selectively: this is the Recycling Map (Harta Reciclarii), the interactive platform that allows them to identify and locate the selective collection points of the recyclable waste in Romania. At the same time, through its educational component, the Map provides them with information and tutorials on how to collect selectively in a proper way and on the types of materials that can be sorted in order to be recycled.
The Recycling Map platform is a project of the ViitorPlus Association, developed in partnership with the company Coca-Cola HBC Romania, being included in the educational campaign for selective collection entitled “Dupa Noi, strangem tot noi”. At the same time, the Recycling Map has the support of the Ministry of Environment and has an educational component also outside the virtual environment, which is funded by EU funds, under the “No planet B” project.
Recycling Map is accessible on both mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) and on laptops and desktop devices. This web-based application – which can be accessed at the web address www.hartareciclarii.ro – allows users to locate the points where they can take recyclable waste collected separately, but it also has a user generated contend interactive component, providing users the possibility to bring their contribution to the database of the map by adding new selective collection points – in case they are not already included, or to review the existing ones, if their description does not match with reality.
The main objective of the Recycling Map is to facilitate the waste collection and recycling process at national level.
In addition to the map itself, this platform also includes an educational component, by providing information on how to collect selectively in a proper way, which types of materials can be recycled, or how can we reduce and reuse materials.
“In 2011, we launched the first version of the Recycling Map for four Romanian cities, with the help of the volunteers who were checking the information obtained from authorities on the spot. However, a permanent update of these points was necessary, since people were telling us that bins were moved, or new bins were installed, new collection centers were closed or opened, etc. By the new platform, we have found a modern solution in which we combine technology with people’s desire to help community, offering the possibility to update the information in real time. In addition, we also answer to practical question on the rules related to collecting materials, or we provide solutions for reuse”, stated the President of the ViitorPlus Association, Teia Ciulacu.
“Through the Recycling Map, we urge everybody either to use the collection points that are already included in the platform, or to indicate new selective collection points for waste. It is essential for people to have access to the selective collection infrastructure for packaging waste, to be able to contribute, at individual level, to the efforts made in order to protect the environment. We are confident that, through this joint effort, we will be able to make a positive change for the generations coming after us”, stated Irina Ionescu, Public Affairs & Communication Manager of Coca-Cola HBC Romania.
“Recycling Map is a commendable initiative, an element that complements our efforts to implement the circular economy concept in Romania. The launching moment is also very well chosen, because 2019 was declared the year of recycling in our country. I am sure that Recycling Map will be a very useful instrument for people who want to bring their contribution to the welfare of the environment, and I wish to populate it as quick as possible with as many collection centers”, stated the Vice PM and the Minister of Environment Gratiela Gavrilescu.
For the launch of the Recycling Map, public authorities and private operators that have selective collection points have been consulted – the result was the centralization of a database with almost 7,000 selective collection points all over the country: street bins, stores, gas stations, collection centers, etc. This information will be complemented also in the future with new collection points provided to the population by the authorities and companies, and validated, corrected or complemented be the people who use the platform, according to what they will actually find on the spot.
The Recycling Map has been included in the educational campaign “Dupa Noi, strangem tot noi”, launched by Coca-Cola HBC Romania in 2018. Last year, the program reached several million people, by participating in cultural events, festivals and conferences all over the country, as well as through a communication campaign that lasted six months.
At the beginning of this year, the campaign “Dupa Noi, strangem tot noi” has made a first step for strengthening the selective waste collection infrastructure in Bucharest, through the Big Belly project, which consists of 30 smart selective collection points, placed in 15 locations in downtown Bucharest, under a partnership with the District 3 Mayoralty and the GreenPoint Management organization. So far, the results of this project show that people are willing to collect selectively, also confirming the major importance of education and information in this respect.