The two-day workshop was organized under the "Think Composting" project.
Association of South-West Municipalities held a work shop under the project "Think composting - dedication to the organic full circle". Participants at the works shop were municipal employees from the twenty-seven target municipalities from South-West Bulgaria and South-Eastern Macedonia.
The two-day workshop was conventionally divided into four panels. In the first panel was examined in details the composting potential at national, regional and local levels, with particular attention to the target municipalities. In the second panel, attention was paid to the cost-benefit analysis in the preparation of projects at the municipal level and the participants held practical training with Bulgarian and Macedonian experts and developed examples. In the third module was presented a sociological survey among the population in a cross-border region of South-Western Bulgaria, the social attitudes of the respondents and the financial benefits of the composting process. In the fourth module the same study was presented, but for the municipalities of South-East Macedonia.
The participants, under the leadership of the ASWM team and with the help of experts, have also developed model action plans at the municipal level.
The main conclusions and recommendations from the workshop are:
- The introduction of a separate collection among the covered municipalities on the territory of which Regional Waste Management Associations operate is a prerequisite for the introduction of composting systems for these territories.
- The development and implementation of Regional Waste Management Plans should include a broad information campaign for local communities to explain the benefits of composting activities so that a larger percentage of the population is included in it.
- Pilot implementation of projects that include activities for introducing domestic composting systems can be used with their results as a good practice that will be multiplied and among other municipalities.
- The positive attitudes of local communities are an element to be used by local authorities to implement common environmental measures and programs through composting activities;
- Farmers carrying out activities and registered with the Agricultural Services at the Regional Units of the Land Fund may be assisted with personal composters to use for their activities.
- The opportunities provided by the Operational Programs of the Municipalities should be used as a financial instrument for the introduction of composting installations and the building of environmentally friendly infrastructure on the territory of the Regional Waste Management Associations in Southwest Bulgaria.
- Changing public attitudes in favor of composting activities is possible through the disclosure of its financial benefits in the long run.