Integrated Solid Waste Management in Kutaisi, Georgia-Implementing accompanying measures

The project “Integrated Solid Waste Management System Kutaisi” foresees the construction of a new regional landfill and the closure of the Nikea landfill in Kutaisi during the period of 2015 - 2018. The new landfill will serve the Imereti and the Racha-Lechkhumi / Kvemo Svaneti Regions. The new regional landfill is designed and will be constructed conform EU standards. It will serve a total population of about 700,000 citizens until its planned closure in the year 2034. The total investment is up to 26 Mio. Euro and implementation has started mid-2015. A system of 5 transfer stations will assure efficient transport of waste from all municipalities of the regions Imereti and Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti to the new sanitary landfill. Small trucks deliver waste to the transfer stations from where regularly big trucks with trailers transport the waste to the new sanitary landfill.

At the moment, the investment project is in the preliminary phase of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which is regulated by the “Law of Georgia on Environmental Impact Permits”. Citizens can review the EIA report, ask questions and formulate problems from their point of view.

The Solid Waste Management Company of Georgia (SWMCG) is the beneficiary of the project and is supported by accompanying measures to introduce and consolidate an integrated regional solid waste management system for Kutaisi. This component is implemented by PEM CONSULT in cooperation with INTECUS (Germany) and Gamma (Georgia) and delivers training and consulting services to support and improve the organisational and institutional capacities of the SWMCG. The aim of the accompanying measures project is to enhance the performance capacities of SWMCG and the municipalities to fulfil their roles in the new integrated solid waste management system.

Enhancing capacities is more than introducing a new strategy, a new business plan, new and standardised procedures and more than being subject in a training. All these need to be “internalised”. Strategies, business plans and procedures themselves do not sufficiently contribute to enhanced capacities if they are not fully comprehended by the SWMCG. The process of drafting strategies etc. is therefore considered equally important, if not more important than the strategies etc. themselves. Direct involvement of qualified staff of the SWMCG in the drafting of these documents will therefore be promoted.

Since 2013, the SWMCG has in property and operation 53 former municipal landfills in Georgia. The future mandate is, to construct and operate up to 9 regional landfills and to close down all former municipal landfills. The landfill for Imereti and Racha Lechkhumi/Kvemo Svaneti is the first regional landfill that will be newly constructed. So far the SWMCG has rehabilitated 28 unregulated municipal landfills and closed in an ordered manner 13 landfills: With the investment of 23 Mio. GEL (about 9.5 Mio. Euro) the SWMCG has improved the quality of life of thousands of citizens that were formerly suffering from smoke, smell and waste blown by the wind from unregulated landfills and dumpsites. The negative impacts of landfills on environment and nature has been considerably reduced; in some cases completely.

The first project newsletter describes all important technical and financial details about the new landfill as a model and blueprint for other regional landfills that will be constructed in the coming years: