The city of Svilengrad, Bulgaria, has signed the Zero Waste Cities Certification Agreement, becoming the first Bulgarian Zero Waste Candidate City. Led by the city mayor, Arch. Anastas Karchev, the announcement follows Svilengrad’s official application for the Zero Waste Cities Certification (ZWCC), provided by the capacity–building hub Mission Zero Academy (MiZA). MiZA and Zero Waste Europe, together with the local zero waste organisation Za Zemiata, will guide and support Svilengrad in its zero waste journey, helping to achieve its goals by 2025.
In addition to the general waste management commitments intrinsic to the Certification process, Svelingrad will put a specific focus on textile and construction waste, and will introduce separate collection systems in the surrounding villages.
After the establishment of a Zero Waste Advisory Board few years back, now the municipality will aim to:
- Achieve 90% diversion of municipal solid waste (MSW);
- Reach a target of 99 kg per resident/year in 2025 for the annual amount of residual waste;
- Reduce the volume of MSW sent to incineration, building awareness around sustainable alternative solutions;
- Increase awareness of zero waste and circular economy principles within its community, using a wide range of communication methods and channels.
‘Svilengrad has a long-term vision within its zero waste strategy, which includes various innovative solutions that we will achieve thanks to the Zero Waste Cities Certification. We are committed to working hard with our residents for a cleaner environment.’ said Arch. Anastas Karchev, Mayor of Svilengrad.
Powered by the European NGO Zero Waste Europe, MiZA’s ZWCC was developed to support cities in Europe wanting to accelerate their zero waste transition and circular economy implementation at the local level.
“We’re extremely excited and proud that Svilengrad will become the first Bulgarian Zero Waste Candidate City. Svilengrad has shown strong leadership on this topic for several years now, since becoming part of the Zero Waste Cities Programme initially back in 2019. With their commitment to become certified, we’re excited to begin working with Svilengrad and our local member, Za Zemiata, to drive forward the municipality’s transition to zero waste and make it a flagship town in this field within both Bulgaria and Europe as a whole.” said Jack McQuibban, Cities & Communities Programme Coordinator at Zero Waste Europe.
In 2017, the city was recognised as the Greenest municipality in the Ecopark Bulgaria Competition. Svilengrad’s zero waste commitment marks another important momentum for Bulgaria and the whole of Europe, a clear sign that it advocates for a more sustainable and circular future.