Skadar Lake became a Montenegrin landfill

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After the heavy floods that occurred in the Skadar Lake basin in 2011, consideration was given to installing gratings to prevent waste from reaching Skadar Lake. Earlier, an initiative was launched for the procurement of an amphibious vehicle that would be used for waste removal, maintenance of waterways and arrangement of the lake shores, but the money was not provided.

Nevena Petković says that solutions, “like the network on the river Ribnica”, do not permanently solve the problem of reducing waste in watercourses and on Skadar Lake. “Cables and networks can be aids, while the issue of changing citizens’ habits and waste management policies must be approached much more seriously than Montenegro has shown so far,” she said.

Milica Boca from the Coalition for Sustainable Development (KOR) says that, in addition to penal policy, there should be a system for motivating exemplary citizens who dispose of waste well. She believes that the cleaning actions are a “fight with the titans”, and that campaigns, information and education of citizens are necessary, along with changing the system of competencies in order to find the best solution.

Biljana Gligorović from the NGO Expeditio says that “the main culprit is the one we pay to be clean and to whom it is an obligation”. She adds that by collecting waste in Skadar Lake, the polluters remain unaware of the guilt, as well as that it is necessary to deal with the problem upstream – “list all illegal landfills, investigate the cause of their existence, list the wrong municipalities and their utilities”.

Criminal policy exists only on paper

In Montenegro, there are over 400 landfills for municipal and mixed waste that have been functioning as recurrences for decades (re-formation of landfills in the same locations), of which a large number are on river banks, along roads, abandoned areas, and even in the vicinity of cultural and historical sites. monuments and more inaccessible natural areas “, says Nevena Petković.

She states that almost no report of dumping waste into rivers to the competent inspections has a positive outcome, because adequate investigative actions are not conducted to determine the responsibility of the perpetrators.

“It is discouraging that Montenegro has not implemented any measures from the Waste Management Action Plan, which was stated in the latest report of the European Commission for Montenegro 2020,” said Petkovic, emphasizing that part of the state policy in future waste management plans should be focused on reducing waste at source.