Ecostacja – recycling in practice

 Just back from Ecostacja. It was formally opened today.

As is obvious from the name it has something to do with environment. More specifically it is the first recycling centre for the residents of Warsaw, set up by the Swedish company “Stena Recycling”. People can bring household waste, sort it and thus make sure that it is taken care of in a responsible way.

The whole set up reminded me of  the Hagby recycling station, close to where me and my family used to live in Täby outside Stockholm. No coincidence. Certainly Swedish solutions are used a starting point. Still, as the Head of Stena Recycling in Warsaw Fredrik Valentin said at the inauguration: the practicalities need to be adapted to Poland.

I was extremely happy to see the Mayor of Warsaw, Ms Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz there – giving a speech together with us at the inauguration. A clear indication of the ambition of the city authorities ambition to encourage and facilitate new, economic and environmentally friendly solutions for waste management, turning the problems into assets.

Because that’s the way it is. I am told that the total value of all household waste in Poland – if used as energy – would be as much as four billion Złoty. As my former colleague at the Embassy, Gunnar Haglund, who was an expert on this always repeated: Don’t waste the waste.

First of all, things can be reused. Additionally the material can be recycled. And finally the rest can be incinerated, that is transformed into a part of the solution to our energy needs.

The Mayor told us about a meeting she had had with the Swedish former Minister of Economy (almost certainly it must have been Maud Olofsson). The Minister said she always saw money when she caught a glimpse of waste.

Stena had added a showroom to the station where the visitors pedagogically can see the steps taken when waste gradually are transformed into new products. We seldom see that illustrated. Here it became very visible.

This first Ecostacja is located on Chełmżyńska 180. Hopefully another one will be added later on. And visitors are encouraged to bring electrowaste. The money from that will go to “Our Earth Foundation’s” project for child welfare centers.

Sounds like a good message this first International Day of the Girl Child that we celebrate today.

It is a celebration that makes me remember much of the Embassy work in Tanzania. For girl’s rights to avoid early marriages, for their rights to education, for their rights not be expelled from school because of early pregnancies, for their rights to education about sexual and reproductive health. Similar issues were also high on our agenda in Vietnam.

Environment. Girl’s rights.

And in a couple of hourse I will finalise the day by a Reception for participants from five of the Eastern Partnership countries in a training course in Warsaw. Diversified day. And inspiring for sure.



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