Recycling machines will be tested in Sofia and Dimitrovgrad from September 2012, according to the Association of Recycling Industry (ARI), which is implementing the project – worth 50 000 leva – in co-operation with the Global Ecology Fund Bulgaria.
The machines, which are widely popular in the stores in Western European countries, will be accepting plastic and glass bottles, paper and cans.
The goal is to financially stimulate the people to recycle their waste. It is not yet decided what sum will be the reward, but the plans are to be one stotinka for glass and plastic bottles and two or three stotinki for aluminium cans. It is quite possible, however, that the rewards will be higher, according to the value of the material and the cost of recycling.
Currently stores charge 20 stotinki for a glass beer bottle, but generally refuse to buy back empty bottles and only exchange them for full ones.
According to ARI, quoted by the Mediapool news site, the goal is not for people to make a lot of money, but to get a small reward for recycling.
The current recycling system in Bulgaria with the coloured bins for various types of recyclable materials is perceived as largely being a failure as people doubt that the material is recycled. There have also been numerous eyewitness reports that the various coloured bins are emptied into one and the same lorry.
The first two recycling kiosks will be placed in the main commercial street in Dimitrovgrad and near the Ariana lake in Borisova Gradina in Sofia. The ARI has 40 such kiosks and is holding talks with other municipalities, which might be interested in having one.