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  • Tropa Verde

    Timeline

    Kick-off meeting
    Final Conference

    Municipality of Athienou
    2, Archbishop Makarios III Ave.
    7600 Athienou Cyprus

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    Municipality of Santiago de Compostela

    CONTACT US

    Tropa Verde is a Transfer network to encourage environmentally responsible behaviour that empowers citizens to reuse and recycle. Combining web platform and low cost campaigns, it is considered as a "civic movement fully committed to sustainability and circular economy". Citizens get vouchers and exchange them for rewards from the City Council and local retailers. It connects places where disposing waste (green points, civic and social centres, etc.) with local businesses providing gifts or discounts.

    Rewarding recycling
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  • Rewarding re-use and recycling

    Hungary
    Zugló

    Bringing together citizens and businesses for a more environmentally friendly society

    Fejer Mate
    Project Coordinator
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    125 000

    Solutions offered by the good practice

    Zugló, one of Budapest’s 23 districts, has a reputation for clean, safe streets and good transportation. Attracting a diverse mix of residents, the area is seeing considerable development, including new housing for young families. But this increasing population density means growing levels of waste to deal with.

     

    The district’s waste is managed by a company (FKF) publicly owned by the City of Budapest. Before Tropa Verde, FKF already ran two modern Re-use and Educational Centres, where people could drop off useful old objects and which were frequently visited by school groups.

     

    However, still about half of all collected waste went to a huge landfill site, and another sizeable proportion was incinerated. Only about 10 percent of municipal waste was collected separately by households and recycled by various companies. Tropa Verde was a chance for Zugló to take a fresh approach to encouraging citizens to recycle more.

     

    First, a survey of citizens’ attitudes, habits, motivations and needs gave Zugló a basis to plan their new recycling reward scheme, adapting Santiago De Compostela’s platform to their own context. Next, they developed a clear online map enabling residents to find the right recycling facility for a range of waste items.

     

    With support from the web company who developed Santiago De Compostela’s original ‘Tropaverde’ platform, Zugló launched its own local platform, accessible via the now international tropaverde.org. Just like Santiago De Compostela’s, this links in to an awards, or hulladék.pont, system, involving a whole network of local partners.

     

    At designated ‘green points’, citizens can get a coupon with a code in exchange for the recyclable or reusable items they drop off. There are also rewards for composting. Points can then be redeemed on Zugló’s Tropa Verde platform – and spent in shops and organisations who have agreed to sponsor the programme.

    Sustainable and integrated urban approach

    The rewards system is an important way of engaging with both businesses and citizens about the environment. To further promote the initiative, the Municipality of Zugló launched a campaign to promote recycling jointly with FKF. And there have been environmental education events in festivals, children’s camps and schools. Other efforts have included a competition to collect batteries and used electronic devices, and a partnership with the Jane Goodall Foundation to collect used mobile phones.

     

    As the project supports a much wider environmental management strategy, Zugló has benefited from strong political involvement, with the Deputy Mayor a key advocate for the activities throughout.

    Participatory approach

    The URBACT Local Group was particularly active in awareness-raising, thanks to their diverse members from cultural and sports institutions, the city’s philharmonic orchestra – and even Budapest’s Zoo, which is in Zugló. The Tropa Verde project was presented at the Budapest Gastro Festival, where the interested could not only get information about the project, but also get involved in the program by disposing glass waste. Prior to the Covid pandemic, in 2020, experts from the municipality and project partners visited the children's day camps in Zugló several times to raise awareness about conscious waste disposal, recycling and project goals as part of awareness-raising events. Following the pandemic period the municipality, together with a number of local NGOs, launched an online series of programs where participants could learn the tricks of composting in urban and apartment environment through entertaining, playful sessions, or even build an insect hotel. They got to know how to replace disposable packaging with durable solutions in the kitchen, bathroom, learned about clothing repair and recycling practices, and also about the impact of our meals and purchased foods on our environment.

     

    It has to be underlined that Zugló’s implementation of the project, that started very successfully, has been strongly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and early 2021, as it interfered with all their plans, and forced to cancel promotional events and gather more sponsors.

     

    Zugló planned to bring the program to local and residential events and festivals, while persuading companies of joining the project. They updated the flyers and created a banner to put on the entrance of joining companies to show that they are part of our program.

     

    As part of long-term planning, Zugló created a communication plan, and launched the GP by using a mix of offline and online tools.

     

    Towards the future, as a change, Zugló plans to most be present in more events and to include more companies, to guarantee the success and sustainability of the solution.

     

    For such purpose, a database for those companies that could potentially be involved was created, and Zugló intended to contact them during the lockdown.

     

    To summarize, Zugló has struggled to get sponsors to join the project and even those who joined had to close for business before even starting to accept coupons.

    What difference has it made

    At the start of the program, 6 waste disposal sites participated in the program, which we later wanted to supplement with a minimum of 10 pharmacies and 2 donation shops, but this plan unfortunately failed due to the pandemic situation.

     

    In 2020, we reached about 200 elementary school students at our attitude-forming events. In the spring of 2021, we ran various awareness-raising campaigns and reached more than 6,000 people on the municipality's Internet channels.

     

    Within the framework of the campaign, we promoted the 2 waste disposal sites included in the program for 2 weeks with the participation of FKF, where we drew 6 horticultural vouchers among the participants.

     

    In an online lecture for local residents, a specialist from FKF gave a lecture on the ways of waste management in the capital with the participation of 30 interested people. In May, we held attitude-forming online programs with the participation of 5 civil organizations, 9 times, with the participation with a total of about 200 people. In cooperation with FKF, we held attitude-forming sessions in 9 kindergartens with the participation of about 1,000 children. The map containing the waste disposal sites created under the project has so far been used by almost 3,000 people.

    Transferring the practice

    Meetings with partner cities – including an event in Budapest in June 2018 – were great opportunities to exchange experiences and learn from each other, which enabled Zugló to identify similar problems in waste management and learn new skills to tackle them.

     

    The aim is now to get more residents involved post-COVID and hopefully to roll out the programme across all districts of Budapest.

     

    The hope is that each area of the city will set up its own URBACT-style local group, involving local sponsors across the city to promote the circular economy.

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  • Five great ideas for greener cities

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    15/11/2022

    These local green solutions are inspiring cities across the EU. Could they work in your city too?

    Articles

    The New Leipzig Charter highlights three forms of the transformative city which can be harnessed in Europe to enhance people’s quality of life: the Just City, the Green City and the Productive City.

    URBACT’s latest publication is packed with sustainable solutions to address these three dimensions – all tried, tested and transferred between EU cities, with adaptations for each local context.

    To give a taste of the full stories in ‘Good practice transfer: Why not in my City?’, here are five examples of local actions for Green Cities. We hope towns and cities of all sizes will be inspired to ‘Understand, Adapt and Re-use’ these participative, joined-up solutions, helping to drive a just transition to a green economy.

    1. Reward re-use and recycling

    The Zugló district of Budapest, Hungary, launched a reward scheme with the city’s waste company to encourage recycling – and slow growth in household waste. After an initial survey of local needs and attitudes, they built an online platform linking citizens with various ‘green points’ where they can drop off recyclable and reusable items, earning coupons for goods and services provided by local sponsors. Schools and other organisations – including Budapest zoo – are joining in with activities to promote the circular economy. This approach originates in the Spanish town of Santiago de Compostela (ES), which motivated people from its so-called TropaVerde ‘rewarding recycling!’ initiative – including web developers – to transfer the good practice to their peers in other EU cities with support from URBACT.

    2. Bring in the bees

    A new ‘Bee Path’ guides visitors round local sites linked to bees and honey in the Polish city of Bydgoszcz. The sweet solution was developed by a group of beekeepers, teachers, entrepreneurs, researchers, tour guides and interested locals. Together, they identified 16 places in their city with apiaries and melliferous potential, from a university roof to the botanical garden. Bydgoszcz is one of six EU cities to enrich its urban jungle with bees, adopting Ljubljana’s (Slovenia) tried-and-tested ‘Bee Path’ as part of an URBACT Transfer Network. With education, tourism, biodiversity and business all benefiting, visible changes already include new bee-friendly flower gardens, city-wide World Bee Day celebrations, and the promotion of local honey.

    3. Link up art and culture with climate activism

    A movement of green cultural events and a commitment to reducing carbon emissions, is growing in the UNESCO-listed town of Mantua, Italy, thanks to new synergies between the cultural sector and climate activism. As partners in the URBACT C-Change network, Mantua picked up its approach from the Manchester Arts Sustainability Team (UK), which was formed in 2011 to explore how the arts and culture sector could contribute to the city's first climate change strategy. Mantua’s cross-sectoral scheme has sparked improvements ranging from re-usable cups to bio-gas buses, contributing to a new ‘plastic-free’ city strategy, environmental criteria in the city’s UNESCO management plan, and green public procurement for cultural events.

    4. Create a municipal farm to supply local canteens 

    With an ambitious sustainable food policy, the Bulgarian town of Troyan decided to build a municipal farm from scratch, and use the produce in school meals. After two years learning from Mouans-Sartoux’s (FR) pioneering ‘Collective school catering’ work as partners in the URBACT BioCanteens network, Troyan’s farm has already started supplying organic fruit and vegetables. To achieve this, the town learnt new public procurement techniques and took a step-by-step approach, initially aiming to provide half of the vegetables required in local canteens, then expand production later. And the process was supported by an URBACT Local Group, involving heads of schools and kindergartens, civil servants and parents.

    5. Grow urban gardens together with communities

    Vilnius, (LT) is promoting urban gardening as a way to fight social exclusion and gather neighbours, even in high-rise ‘sleeping districts’. Working with local stakeholders and the Ministry of Environment, Vilnius developed a clear set of regulations for communities to know how – and where – to start an urban garden. The municipality also released an urban gardening guide as part of a broader environmental awareness drive – and has formally included the shared gardens model in the city’s urban development policies. Their inspiration? Rome (IT), whose resilient urban gardening project targets more than 50 hectares, involving NGOs, citizens, disadvantaged people and minorities. Thanks to the URBACT RU:RBAN network, shared gardens in Vilnius have already started to grow – and dialogue continues with private and state owners to free up access to land for more community gardens in the future.

    Read about these and many more sustainable solutions for cities, in URBACT’s latest publication ‘Good practice transfer: Why not in my City?’, with positive opening words from Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms.

    Tagged with the three city dimensions of the New Leipzig Charter, our easy-to-search Good Practice database also provides more inspiration for greener cities.

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