Integrated separate waste collection system
Utility Company Čistoća Rijeka fully introduced an integrated separate waste collection system in 2015 by installing a total of 7,500 clearly labelled containers – bins for separate collection of valuable waste – paper, glass, and metal, plastic and multilayer packaging, in the entire waste management area. In this way, all end users are able to properly dispose of valuable types of waste at source. In addition, 600 home composters were distributed. There are also approximately 100 bins for textiles, including used clothing and footwear. All remaining mixed municipal waste is handed over for further processing to the County Waste Management Centre Marišćina.
Furthermore, UC Čistoća manages three recycling yards: Central Recycling Yard Mihačeva draga, Recycling Yard Pehlin and Recycling Yard in Jože Vlahovića Street. From these locations, as well as from the recyclable fractions containers – the Bins – separately collected waste is handed over for further recovery to authorized concessionaires. In addition to the mentioned recycling yards, UC Čistoća also manages three mobile recycling yards, two of which are in Rijeka and one in Bakar, thus enabling citizens to dispose of many different types of special categories of waste in the simplest possible way.
Semi-underground waste containers
Semi-underground containers are another novelty in waste management in the City of Rijeka. Their purpose is to improve service efficiency and, alongside increased capacity, preserve the environment. Since 2016, first semi-underground containers have been installed on Riva Street, Zanonova Street, on Riva near the intersection with Ignacije Hencke Street, as well as on Riva Boduli Street. The intention is to create a network of semi-underground containers in the dense urban core of the city of Rijeka. Their added value is in the higher capacity of containers compared to those above ground, which means less frequent emptying resulting in significantly lower consumption of time, vehicles, staff, equipment and energy. What’s more, semi-underground containers also save extremely dense and valuable urban space.
Among other things, smart bins have been set up on the streets of Rijeka, which notify users when they need to be emptied, use solar energy for charging, and in addition, they feature works of art by Rijekan artists, making waste bins a part of the city’s urban identity. Depending on their type and capacity, these smart modular bins enable the collection of mixed or recyclable waste, have embedded fill-level sensors, collect data in real time, and produce notifications when they are ready for emptying.
In addition, smart bins have a powerful waste compression device, which allows them to dispose of five to seven times more waste than conventional waste bins. Smart bins are also exclusively powered by solar energy produced by their own photovoltaic panels, which is why they can be placed in locations where there is no additional power supply. A single hour of solar energy allows them to operate for a whole month, and even indirect sunlight will produce sufficient power. Thanks to all this, smart bins significantly save time, labour, and energy consumption, and they reduce pollution.
Since this kind of state-of-the art technology and waste collection bins are featured in the most developed cities in Europe and the world, this puts Rijeka on the map of smart cities which pay great attention to both waste separation and implementation of the latest technologies. As in the case of semi-underground containers, the expansion and upgrade of the existing network is planned.