4/04/2017 – Starting with 2017, the Solid Waste Management Company of Georgia (SWMCG) introduced new standards for work safety of its more than 200 employees and environmental protection measures for better managing the over 50 landfills operated by the company. The new company policy for Occupational Health and Saftety (OHS) and its Environmental Management System (EMS) is fully in line with international standards (ISO). “This is a key element in our company strategy to assure high professional qualification of our staff and to operate our landfills according to best international standards and practices”, declares Mr. Giorgi Shukhoshvili, director of the Solid Waste Management Company of Georgia and continues: “Thus we are getting prepared to operate our new regional landfills that are being built now in the best possible way – environmentally safe and without any risk for human health.”
On Tuesday, 4 April 2017, at 10:00 am at the educational and training center of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia, SWMCG officially presented the Company’s OHS and EMS policy, committing itself to implementing environmental, health and safety measures in landfills operation practice in line with International Standards (ISO). The policy and measures, designed to improve working environment for operators and to minimize negative impact on environment, have been developed in framework of the project “Integrated Solid Waste Management System Kutaisi” (ISWMK) financed by a KfW credit and national contributions and supported by a grant of the EU-Neighbourhood Investement Facility (NIF).
Announcement and signing of the OHS/EMS policy by the SWMCG Director Mr. Giorgi Shukhoshvili came at the end of a one-week intensive training course for all the landfill managers of the company. During the course the participants were trained in health and safety regulations that they will have to apply in their everyday work while operating the landfills. This training is part of a 2 year training package on OHS and EMS for the entire company, from senior management to all staff working at the landfills.
The aim of the project “Integrated Solid Waste Management Kutaisi” (2015-2019) is the construction of a new regional landfill which will comply with European standards and serve Imereti and Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti regions and the subsequent closure of operating landfills (and all other non-regulated dumpsites in the regions) after the new landfill starts operating. The landfill will serve around 700 000 citizens living in the 16 municipalities of both regions.
The OHS and EMS training package addressed the SWMCG landfill managers in all regions of Georgia. The OHS/EMS policy was elaborated and the training courses were provided by international and national experts of the ISWMK project, under the component “Accompanying Measures Consulting Services” (AMC), which was implemented by PEM Consult (Germany) and its associated partners INTECUS (Germany) and GAMMA (Georgia). The AMC component supports the Solid Waste Management Company to improve its organizational and institutional capacities in the fields of quality management, human resources, financial planning, technical planning and public relations and communication.
The overall project “Integrated Solid Waste Management System Kutaisi” is carried out with the financial support provided by Georgian-German cooperation and KfW (€ 20 mio loan), the EU Neighbourhood Investment Facility (€ 2 mio grant) and the Georgian Government (€ 4 mio national contribution). The full investment amounts to 26 million Euro.