During the past weeks, we have worked hard to show you our philosophy and what it can do for Ljubljana. Now, it’s time to talk about what Ljubljana does for us. How it inspires us and others in being greener and accomplishing the zero waste goal.
Top of the class
Ljubljana is the first European capital to officially commit to going zero waste. However, it wasn’t always top of the class. In 2002, Ljubljana didn’t have a separate waste collection. Today, it is one of the most advanced recycling capitals of Europe. Almost 75% of its rubbish gets recycled and each day the city becomes greener. The dedication to this goal and the speed with which Ljubljana managed to attain it, inspires us in our own zero waste initiatives.
Despite starting out later than much of Western Europe, Ljubljana is now the envy of the world when it comes to waste management. Separate collection bins are always readily available and biowaste is even collected door to door. Everything that can be recycled, gets recycled and the stuff that isn’t broken gets sold and reused. The city and its people really took the zero waste initiative to heart.
Recycling has become a part of the city life. Zero waste stores are popping up together with packaging-free vending machines. Even the historical city centre, packed with tourists, remains immaculate thanks to clever underground containers, roaming waste collectors and special cleaning vehicles that sweep the streets with reused rainwater and biodegradable detergent.
Within a very short period of time, Ljubljana has become the best performing EU capital while keeping one of the lowest waste management costs in Europe. Ljubljana shows us that it is possible to move towards zero waste in an effective way. It shows us how a clever recycling strategy can create jobs, save money and protect the environment – all at the same time. Ljubljana inspires us.