Over the past two months an awareness campaign involving 28 of the 31 schools in the Union of Municipalities of Mennieh has stressed the importance of sorting waste at source, improving the quality of the waste collected for recycling.

The campaign has engaged 126 volunteers who have been provided with training on the sorting of waste and on how to conduct awareness-raising activities. The volunteers have also been provided with materials adapted to specific age groups, ranging from preschool to grade 12. The volunteers have held around 600 sessions of various types, reaching well over 14,000 students.

The campaign was conducted jointly with the distribution of around 300 sorting containers among schools, which will now form part of a separated-waste collection route. The overall objective is to minimize the amount of recyclables reaching landfill and to ensure that only the appropriate materials are sent for recycling.

Waste collection and treatment has become a real challenge for the Union following the sharp increase of population by displaced Syrians, adding a population of around 35,000 to the existing 100,000 inhabitants.

The initiative – implemented by MedCities and the Union of Municipalities, with the support of AMB and the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation – complements an INTAJ 3 project of the humanitarian aid NGO Mercy Corps being implemented in the Union. The project aims to promote effective cooperation between local authorities, civil society and the private sector in order to encourage positive practices in solid waste management and recycling, improving the quality of those services.