Sorting and Recycling Waste in Ukraine
Books from yogurt packaging and pavement from juice boxes. Ukrainian environmental activists have filmed educational videos about sorting and recycling waste
In educational videos for the environmental project ‘No Waste Ukraine,’ 14-year-old Sofiya-Khrystyna Borysiuk and Mykyta Shulha talk about recycling.
They explain how paper, metal, glass, and plastic are recycled in factories, giving life to new products.
Three years ago, the activists launched an environmental initiative called ‘Kompola.’ The idea of the project is to turn food waste into compost. They started within their own school.
“There used to be an illegal wasteland near my house, left after construction, and it’s not a very pleasant view. My parents and I were thinking of the ways to improve the situation, and we came up with composting. When compost is made, the amount of waste is reduced. You can fertilize trees so that they will clean the air around you,” founder of the environmental project ‘Kompola,’ Mykyta Shulha said.
“On average, a school disposes of 20 liters per day. Over one school week, you get 100 liters. If you don’t throw it out in a landfill, it will be better for the environment,” founder of the environmental project ‘Kompola,’ Sofiia-Khrystyna Borysiuk said.
In three years, more than 200 schools joined the initiative. Almost 53 tons of waste has been collected since the start of the year. The amount of compost is reduced by 50%, but it’s enough to fertilize a standard football field.
“They also promote Ukraine in the international arena. They have already been nominated for international awards in San Francisco and Stockholm. And they also spoke at a forum in Italy, at TedX. How can you not admire these kids?” founder of the No Waste Ukraine project, UNDP Ambassador in Ukraine, Yevheniia Aratovska said.
Five years ago, Yevheniya Aratovska founded the project “No Waste Ukraine.” In order to reduce the amount of waste in the country, it’s sorted into more than 40 categories at special stations organized by activists. Then, the waste is recycled.
“The same goes for plastic bottles. They need to be compressed in order to optimize our logistics costs. Metal, glass, combined packaging, everything is recycled. The “Ranok” publishing house in Kharkiv makes books from this packaging because it’s 75% paper. This year, for the first time, they made such a special book. And from polyaluminium, plastic manholes are made. In addition to this, five tons of this waste has already been used in road construction,” Aratovska added.
According to activists, there are up to 40,000 landfills in Ukraine. Meanwhile, one hundred Ukrainian recycling plants don’t receive enough waste to work.