Increasing recycling rates of batteries and light bulbs in Serbia
The collection and responsible treatment of light bulbs and batteries in Serbia is improved.
Batteries and light bulbs are one of the most common household hazardous waste materials which, if not properly collected and treated, end up in landfills and seriously damage the environment. The official data show that approximately 100 tonnes of light bulbs per year are recycled in Serbia, which is about 10% of the total quantity of imported quantities. Companies and citizens are mainly disposing of light bulbs in regular waste bins which means this waste is mixed with municipal waste. The problem with batteries is also significant because there is no organized collection and disposal or even state incentives for light bulbs in Serbia. The legal framework sets the foundation: “Households are obliged to dispose of their waste in containers or in other ways provided by the local self-government unit, as well as hazardous household waste (waste batteries and accumulators, oils, waste from electrical and electronic products, paints and varnishes, pesticides, etc.) handed over to collection centers for household waste or to an authorized legal entity for the collection of hazardous waste.” However, in practice, most of home batteries and light bulbs end up without special treatment.
The project worked on increasing collection sites and encouraging consumers to dispose of used batteries and light bulbs properly. Project partners invested in improving the collection network of batteries and light bulbs, as good education and information activities for raising awareness on different levels. Numerous educational events for citizens and school children have been conducted throughout the Project. With its active presence in the field, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), NALED, ''Bozic & sinovi'', and ''E-reciklaza'' supported citizens and companies to better understand of responsible treatment of hazardous waste in Serbia. Project also secured infrastructure for the collection of batteries and light bulbs in 12 public institutions in the city of Kragujevac and the city of Belgrade.
The achieved impact of this project is the reduction of waste by 0.6 tons of batteries and light bulbs.