ECOPACK Bulgaria creates and manages jointly with partner Municipalities systems for separate collection of packaging waste. In 2019, such systems have been set up in 88 municipalities and include:
1. Color-coded Igloo type containers
With a volume of 1100 and 1500 liters. Blue for paper and cardboard, yellow for metal and plastic packaging, and green for glass. This is the most widely used and proven model in Europe.
2. Types of transport vehicles:
The types of containers used by ECOPACK Bulgaria require specialized waste-collection equipment and trucks.
A GPS system has been implemented to improve the quality of the service provided and enhance control over service companies. To that end, the waste-collection vehicles have been equipped with devices allowing real-time monitoring by ECOPACK Bulgaria and the respective municipalities of the route execution and tracking of any interruptions in scheduled servicing of the respective color-coded containers.
To keep citizens informed about planned routes and schedules, each truck carries a sign indicating what color containers are being serviced on that particular day. Collection frequency depends on annual waste volumes and rates and is negotiated with the respective Municipality in order to ensure regular transportation of collected packaging waste and avoid overflow and littering in the area of the containers.
3. Sorting facilities:
ECOPACK Bulgaria has built up 15 own sorting facilities and has concluded rental contracts for another 3. The organization works with 47 subcontractors and hands over packaging waste for recycling and/or recovery to 27 recycling plants in Bulgaria and abroad.
The installed mechanical sorting facilities comply with all legal and technical requirements and their geographical location has been planned to cover all established systems for separate collection. The facilities make it possible to process 1 to 8 tons per hour of separately collected packaging waste, sorting all materials in line with Art. 24, Paragraph 4 of the Ordinance on Packaging and Packaging Waste. They sort incoming waste collected from administrative buildings, the retail network, and from individual industrial plants in the territory of the respective municipalities. One of the sorting lines is specialized in processing glass packaging, ensuring an exceptional purity rate of 99.7%.
The systems for separate collection of packaging waste established in the territory of the municipalities function under the following parameters:
Size of population covered and minimum volume of the containers in place:
- For localities with a population of more than 100,000, containers of minimum volume of 3,300 l per 800 residents.
- For localities with a population of 50,000 to 100,000, containers of minimum volume of 3,300 l per 600 residents.
- For localities with a population under 50,000, containers of minimum volume of 3,300 l per 400 residents.
Collection from hotels, restaurants, and cafes – HORECA
This method essentially consists in collecting packaging waste generated at hotels, restaurants, and cafes with the assistance of the municipal administrations.
Individual household door-to-door collection
This method involves providing individual yellow containers of a volume of 120l and 240l to households in compact low-rise residential areas. The residents dispose of paper, cardboard, metal, and plastic packaging waste in these containers. Green containers for the disposal of glass packaging are made available in select locations.
Collection from retail outlets
The conditions for collection of packaging waste from retail chains, individual outlets and gas stations in partner municipalities are negotiated through the signing of contracts. The sites included in this system are provided with individual containers depending on the amount of packaging waste generated. They are included in service schedules different from those for the containers located in residential areas.
ECOPACK Bulgaria organizes public awareness campaigns aimed at improving consumer knowledge and motivation with respect to separate collection and recycling of packaging waste in Bulgaria with a focus on the three stages of Collection – Separation – Recycling;
Raising consumer awareness of the benefits of separate collection;
Motivating and sustaining an active and committed attitude to the protection of the environment and the saving of natural resources.