Tropa Verde in Zugló (Transfer Story)

Tropa Verde is in line with Zugló’s environmental priorities and challenges to change its citizens behaviour towards waste recycling. Municipality of Zugló initiated cooperation with FKF (the capital- owned company for waste management) in awareness raising related recycling. They invited waste experts to the ULG, and involved our cultural and sport organizations to the program. Their slogen is: Culture and health for waste!

Zugló is one of the 23 districts of Budapest


from Wikipedia: Zugló is considered to be amongst the 'nicest' and safest districts of the Pest side of the city, which also means that in most areas of the district, people are somewhat better off than the average of their class, meaning the block buildings are cleaner, houses are nicer, etc.
Zugló is a mixture of middle and working-class people. Occasionally non-European immigrants can also be seen in Zugló. The district is favored for its good transportation, safety and for being clean as well. The district sees considerable new development of condos and is a favorite destination of young middle- class families.

Infrastructure and capabilities

City of Budapest owns a municipal waste company called FKF. Appr. half of the collected waste goes to a huge landfill another big amount is incinerated. About 10 percent of the municipal waste is collected separately by the households and recycled by different companies. FKF has two modern Reuse and Educational Centers, where people can take their useful things. These centers are frequently visited by school groups for waste education events.

At the beginning of the project, they run a survey to explore the attitudes, habits, motivations and needs of the cityzens.  The results were very helpful for us to plan the whole process.

Next step was to develope a public map about the recycling facilities. Citizens of Zugló can surf on different layers  of the map to find the proper places for their separated waste components.

Culture and health for waste

Tropa Verde is in line with Zugló’s environmental priorities and challenges to change its citizens behaviour towards waste recycling.  Municipality of Zugló initiated cooperation with FKF (the capital- owned company for waste management) in awareness raising related recycling. They invited waste experts to the ULG, and involved our cultural and sport organizations to the program. Their slogen is: Culture and health for waste!

They adapted the web platform of Tropa Verde and started to collect awards from local sponsors.

At the green plants, citizens can get a coupon with a code for the recyclable materials. On our web platform they can redeem their points, which can be spent for the gifts offered by the program sponsors. Sponsors of the program are shops and organizations.

Complications and challenges

Beside the daily public administration efforts, the biggest challenge for a municipality was that we had to learn to organize and communicate such a program. They could involve the waste companies easily, but they have problems to get sponsors and awards.

They have difficulties in communication. They had many publication on the official website and on Facebook, they registered an Instagram profile, started an email newsletter, but they couldn't increase the required level of publicity.

The pandamic situation has aborted almost every process in the early spring of 2020 and during the second phase in October. Most of the functions of the program is lagging behind. They had only a few transactions.

The green point were closed and the cultural points as well. Secondary schools are closed, the caterings, coffee shops and pubs are not operating. There   were no events, no festivals in this year. In this situation it was very difficult to get sponsors, everyone is very uncertain about the closed future.

URBACT support

In April 2018 the Tropa Verde project of Santiago de Compostela received funding from "Transfer Network" of the URBACT III programme for transfering the experiences. We joined to the project in the first phase.

In June 2018 we hosted the first PP meeting in Budapest. It was followed by more international meetings with the project partners (Santiago de Compostela (Spain), Guimaraes (Portugal), Opole (Poland), Nice (France) and Pavlos Melas (Greece)). These meetings were great opportunities to exchange experiences and to learn good practices from each other.

The process of transfer has been very helpful. At the meetings we identified similar problems in the waste management and thanks for the international cooperation we learned some new skills to reduce them.

They got very good support in the learning process from the lead partner, Tropa of Santiago. First, the adaptation of the web platform was quite easy with the help of their expert. Second, they showed us many organization and communication skills and practices. The URBACT experts gave us very helpful methodological support.

Conclusion

The transfer process of Tropa Verde is successful so far. They could adapt every element of the project and they can implement them after the pandemic situation. The methods of the project can be easily transferred to other regions. The local ULG can be organized in every region and the recycling process can be promoted and rewarded by the local sponsors.

They are planning to extend this program to the whole capital, because FKF has many recycling plants out of Zugló, and many other opportunities can appear in the metropolis to promote recycling. Of course, in this case the Municipality of Budapest should be the partner in the international program.



You can access the original document of the Transfer Story of Zugló by clicking here.

Submitted by Christian Beade on 25/05/2021