Involvement of the public in the site selection process of the new regional non-hazardous waste disposal site in Kakheti

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Involvement of the public in the site selection process of the new regional non-hazardous waste disposal site in Kakheti

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19/07/2021 – Within the framework of the Integrated Solid Waste Management Project (ISWM), “Solid Waste Management Company of Georgia ” is launching an “Inform-Invite-Engage” approach in the Kakheti region, with the main objective to actively engage the society in a new, EU standard, regional, non-hazardous waste landfill site-selection process.

Within this very approach, a first Regional Working Group meeting has been held, with the participation of Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia (MRDI) Mzia Giorgobiani, Director of Solid Waste Management Company of Georgia – Giorgi Shukhoshvili, Deputy State Representatives of Kakheti region: Platon Kalmakhelidze and Givi Metreveli, Gurjaani Mayor Archil Khandamashvili, representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and project’s international Consultants.

The Regional Working Group (RWG) was formed by Solid Waste Management Company of Georgia with the support of international consultants, designed to promote the cooperation between municipalities and central governments, both on general municipal waste management issues and on urgent specific issues, as necessary. The RWG is headed by the spokesman of the Administration of State Representative and Solid Waste Management Company of Georgia. Regional Working Group consists of representatives of municipalities, non-governmental organisations and local initiative groups. Regional Working Group will supervise the discussions and submit final recommendations to the company on the most optimal location for the new facility.

Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) project aims to improve existing sanitary-hygienic conditions in the Kakheti region by upgrading the solid waste management system.  Existing old landfills will be gradually closed and replaced by a new, regional, nonhazardous waste landfill, constructed in compliance with European Standards. The project will be implemented within Georgia-Germany Financial Cooperation, through the financial support of the German Bank for Reconstruction and Development (KfW).

Before finally selecting the site for the regional landfill, “specific” information will be collected from local communities living next to potential locations (such as local infrastructure, land use, valuable places for locals), which is an important part of the process. Therefore, the Regional Working Group will set up a local Site Selection Advisory Committee, comprising of residents living adjacent to potential sites. The main objective of the Committee is to analyze all site-relevant aspects in detail, including the potential needs of local communities and afterward, take part in the final site selection decision-making process.

Public engagement in new landfill construction and operation process will also be ensured by setting up a Monitoring Committee within the regional working group. The mentioned Committee will include the representatives of the communities/settlements living in the vicinity of the finally selected site.  During the lifecycle of new regional non-hazardous waste landfill (construction, operation, closure and after-closure maintenance), the Committee will observe the monitoring mechanisms applied by Solid Waste Management Company of Georgia (SWMCG) and represent the interests of both, communities located adjacent to the selected site and the general public (scientific circles, non-governmental organisations).