How can you make a city recycle that doesn’t see the importance of it, that has supposedly bigger issues than waste management and that is a proud member of the throwaway-society?

The answer is, you can’t – well, at least not immediately.

The “Stimulating citizens participation to recycle processes through the implementation of benefits system “, or with acronym “Benefit as You Save-BAS”-project is aiming to tackle just that: with little but firm steps, we want to introduce the scheme of recycling to the public. The project aims in creating local strategies, action plans, and tools in partner areas in order to increase percentage of separately selected at source recyclable materials and strengthening citizens active participation to recycle process. The project is implemented in framework of Interreg V – B “Balkan – Mediterranean 2014 – 2020”.

The first question was: how far can we go while still being safe that it is actually going to be long-lasting change?

For that, we decided to start with only one zone in Tirana, rather central and full of businesses, bars, restaurants, etc. By providing said businesses with 1 recycling bin, further teaching, and information on the topic, we want to increase the awareness and simultaneously achieve first actual results – since those establishments do contribute a lot to waste production. 

Furthermore, we will also work closely with schools in order to teach the coming generation how important recycling is. 

The project launched in Athens on January 2018, and had the most important conference on 19 March 2019  when in collaboration with the Municipality of Tirana, EDEN Center hosted the 4th International Conference “BAS for my Tirana” in the framework of the project “Benefit As You Save- BAS”. Partaking were, alongside representatives of the partner countries Greece, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Cyprus, Tirana Municipality, environmental CSO’s and also many of our young volunteers and students of different universities in Tirana. They themselves are going to help in implementing the project and were positively surprised at how much can be ascertained and changed with showcasing the schemes when they saw the presentation of the project partners.

Right now, after 3 workshops the volunteers are working on creating a map where all the collected information about the different knowledge on the businesses is going to be put in. 

In the end, we hope to ignite a spark of environmental responsibility in the zone which strikes the whole city. 

Wish us luck!

by EDEN Center