by Eleni Grammatikaki and Antigone Dalamaga, May 2005
A recycling project in all Paros schools was launched on 28th February of this year and will end on June 5th. It has been organized and funded by the Municipality of Paros.
In every school, three plastic recycling bins have been placed: a blue one for paper, yellow for cans and green for plastic (at the end of the article is a list of exactly what products are being recycled). The project has been presented to students as a competition: the school that collects the most recyclable materials will win a prize at the end of this school year.
The recycling procedure for this project has been organized following international and EU practices for similar recycling projects. The project is based on a separation at source system where materials are separated by the students and deposited in the bins at central collection points located in each school. It has been adapted so as to fit the current situation of Paros, and works as follows: students place cans, plastic or paper in the respective bins; glass has been avoided for safety reasons. Once the bins are full, the school contacts the Municipality and a collection truck is sent. The bags are recorded and taken to the private sorting centre, located on the Naoussa - Prodromos road. There the materials are manually sorted, pressed and temporarily stored. Once sufficient quantities are collected, the materials are taken to recycling facilities - metals to Syros and all other materials to the mainland.
In conjunction with the recycling project, there are other closely related events and activities that have taken place or are scheduled. A public awareness and sensitization campaign was conducted in collaboration with the Municipality by the Ecological Recycling Society (see http://www.ecorec.gr), a Greek environmental organization active in the field of sustainable waste management in Greece for the last 15 years. Presentations were given to all the students in all kindergartens and schools. Presentations and discussions focused on waste and its impact on environmental degradation and human health, solutions and alternatives, the benefits of re-use, recycling and sustainable consumption.
Another recycling-related activity was the International Earth Week exhibition held from 16th to 23rd April at the Apothiki Gallery in Paroikia with student artwork and other information about the protection of the environment, in cooperation with the United Nations Environmental Programme for the Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP-MAP). See last month's issue and following article for further details.
Finally, on June 5th a celebratory get-together of all the students and the announcement of the winning school will take place.
The aims of this recycling project are to:
1. Make people aware of the growing waste problem on the island and to actively introduce ways of recycling which are profitable for the Parian environment and economical.
2. Introduce the students to the idea of recycling, both theoretically and practically.
3. Make the students aware that the problem is not generated independently from them and that to create a feasible solution they themselves must also take an active role.
Blue bins: paper (all paper derived products and packaging including newspapers, magazines, notebooks, books, cardboard, paper packaging etc. Not permitted are used napkins, paper towels and toilet paper.
Yellow bins: aluminum (all aluminum cans for soft drinks and beer as well as aluminum foil. Items not permitted include tin packaging for sauces, milk etc as well as packaging for chips, and all other plastified aluminum).
Green bins: plastic (all rinsed PET and PVC packaging. These include all water, soft drinks and detergent packaging. This excludes all juice and milk packaging.
The project is scheduled to resume again in the new school year. During the summer, recycling bins will be placed at beaches bearing the Blue Flag and in other designated areas