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Nearly eight tons of waste was collected in just three days, from the accumulation lake in Obreja de Căpâlna and Ian and Martin together with the “invaluable” small waste collection boat.

The two are part of the “Everwave” initiative, an organization in Aachen, Germany, that collects plastic waste not just from European waters before it reaches the seas and oceans.

They arrived in Romania and the province of Alba through a project started by the Rotary of Alba Iulia. I was with the two of them and Florin Marginian, Governor of the Rotary Region 2022-2023 in Romania and the Republic of Moldova, to find out the story of the “Everwave” initiative, but also what it means to collect rubbish that other people throw randomly.

But more than that, we wanted to know what it means to do something that, in theory, wouldn’t need to be done if people weren’t throwing trash where they could.

Ian and Martin are in Romania for the first time. Everwave considers every outing with the barge important. Mission is part of “EndPlasticSoup”, a project started by the Rotary Clubs of Amsterdam, an association of Rotary clubs in the Dutch capital.

The first mission in Romania was at Voila Dam where they collected 160 tons of waste.

We found it at the edge of the accumulation lake from Obreja de Căpâlna, in the Sebe Valley, where “Priceless” was surrounded by large logs, tires and many green pets from beer bottles. They started operating on Monday, May 16th and will continue to operate until Friday, May 20th.

To collect the waste, they steered a specially built barge to collect the garbage floating on the water. The barge operates on a hydraulic system and has a system that introduces water and collects floating debris.

Two workers are needed: one actually drives the boat, and the other makes sure that the garbage gets into the collection aisle and gets to the boat.

unequal struggle

The initiative to reduce water pollution and remove PET so that the water flows into larger waters is an unequal struggle by environmental activists, due to the fact that they cannot collect at the rate of indiscriminate littering.

The missions of “Everwave” are carried out mainly in the Balkans: Bosnia, Serbia, Slovakia and now in Romania. The project started in 2020, and in just two years they reached Cambodia.

Their mission cannot be successful if they do not cooperate with the local authorities everywhere they reach with the assembly barge. Although it seems simple, assembly is just one step. After collection from the water, this is followed by the waste collection and recycling part. That’s where the community comes in: From garbage collectors to selective waste collection companies, everyone needs to work together to make their mission a success.

How did they get to Romania

The initiative came through the participation of the Rotary Club of Alba Yulia after Florin Morgenian’s participation in an international meeting of the club in Austria. After Rotary Amsterdam demonstrated the actions of “Everwave”, the President of Rotary Romania decided to implement the procedure in the country as well.

“We aim to have clean water, but also to raise awareness and make an impact on citizens, by educating them not to throw pets into the waters and lakes. In Romania, we are on the second lake, on the second dam, and all that was collected from the Voila dam came to Recycling and sorting stage.

Within two days, nearly eight tons were collected here, which will be sorted and recycled. In Voila, where the lake is already clean, there was a lot of plastic waste and bottles, but also partly wood: somewhere about 70% plastic and 30% wood. We want this machine to remain in Romania until the beginning of December in order to clean as many lakes as possible,” said Florin Morgenian.

He also said that the next sites in the country are Lutro Dam – Falcia Dam, Cortia d’Argio Dam, Lugao Dam, Bihor Dam, Izfurol Montelui-Bistreta Dam and Mile 70 and 80 on the Danube from Galati and Brilla. .

The Rotary project is a larger project, and it aims to educate schools and educate young people to collect plastic and keep the environment clean.

Rotary Alba Iulia recently organized an event to raise funds so that next year the equipment will be in Romania to clean up the Danube streams.

On the way back from the accretion lake, we expected several representatives of the institutions that were involved with Rotary Alba Iulia in the greening work.

Representatives from the APA CTTA Alba, Environmental Guard, Hidroelectrica, Sibiu City Hall, and representatives from the Sebeș Rotary Club attended.

The project initiated by Rotary Alba Yulia has already attracted the attention of authorities and institutions who want to actively participate in the initiative launched this year to clean water from randomly thrown PETs that automatically lead to pollution.

Christian Pano and Raul Paseo report.

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