Project duration: 06/2023 – 09/2023
In the northern part of Cyprus, 9% of household waste is glass bottles and jars1. Normally, all glass waste produced in Vasilia (Karşıyaka) village, is transported 50 kms away to be disposed to the closest landfill. To reduce waste and eliminate transportation, a local glass recycling program has been initiated by the community that processes glass waste into sand. However, currently the center’s glass crushing and packaging process relies on fossil fuel power supply and has a very high carbon footprint.
1 Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan, Environmental Protection Department with the support of the EU Capacity Building Project, Feb 2019.
The project proposes the transition of the communal glass recycling center from fossil fuel to solar energy. This grant will enable the installation of a photovoltaic solar system that will power the glass crushing and packaging of the produced sand (bag stitching). This will reduce the recycling center’s carbon footprint and help increase its sustainability. Based on the center’s current glass recycling load, the installation of a photovoltaic system is estimated to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 100 kgs each year. It is also estimated that if only 50% of the local glass waste is recycled, the community glass recycling center will be able to produce 96 tonnes of sand each year – a material that is later on utilized by the local construction, DIY and agricultural industry. This essentially contributes to the reduction of waste that would otherwise end up in the local landfill and reduce extraction pressure from the local sand quarries and consecutive habitat degradation.
- Installation of a solar power system to run the glass crushing and sandbag stitching equipment.
- In addition, a small mobile utility room will be constructed that will house the solar power system and the glass recycling equipment.
A bit about the organization
Karşıyaka Culture and Arts Association has historically focused on local social and cultural activities such as the organization of village festivals and coordination of folk dance groups activities. For the past several years, with the initiative of Vasilia’s (Karşıyaka) village foreign residents, the organization initiated several environmental projects. Amongst these is the building of two sustainable classrooms at the local primary school and training of teachers in integrating educational games focusing on environment into their curriculum. In 2021, the organization received EU funding to establish a local recycling project. One of the project’s goals has been to promote sustainable waste management in the village. In 2018, a survey, which was funded by the foreign community, showed that 64% of the villagers expressed keen interest in actively participating in actions promoting more environmentally sustainable way of living. This has been proved to be true, as the 3 recyclables collection centers which were set up by the group in May 2022 have been filling up quite fast. The recycling project is well organized and has received the warm support of the local community who has been using the facilities, systematically contributing recyclable wastes to the collection centers but also offering volunteer hours for the operation of the center. The organization’s communal environmental initiatives have been inspiring many other nearby communities that are taking actions to follow their example.