Illegal dumpsites in three villages of Akhmeta municipality, Duisi, Dumasturi and Khalatsani, covering an area of around 2 hectares, were cleaned and repurposed as a forest by the USAID-funded Waste Management Technologies in Regions (WMTR) program and Akhmeta municipality. WMTR is implemented by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and the Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN).
The total of 60 cubic meters and eight 700-liter bins of waste was collected during the clean-up campaign
Those areas are located along the coast of the river Alazani, where over the years the population has dumped household waste that had spread all over the coast of the river. Bottles, plastic bags, and sheep wool were the most common materials at the dumpsites, along with other household waste that creates a threat to the environment and human health. Moreover, the area being used as an illegal dumpsite is also used for grazing and poultry. During heavy rainfall, the waste is likely to be washed into the river.
During the cleaning campaign, up to 60 cubic meters of waste was collected, and eight 700-liter waste bins along with an information board were installed in the area in order to discourage future pollution. The waste collection service was arranged by the municipality with the help of the WMTR Team.
Within the framework of the campaign, Austrian Development Cooperation-funded Sustainable Forest Management in Georgia (SFG), WMTR staff and Akhmeta municipality representatives planted 300 walnut trees on the cleared area, as the forestation of the area is significant to show local residents that repurposing the area is for their benefit and to prevent erosion.
Other cleaning campaigns in two Kakheti villages are scheduled in the beginning of 2016, where waste bins and information boards will be installed and the collection of waste from the areas will be arranged.