Unsanitary landfill Vrtijeljka, Montenegro

Due to protest by the local residents, the authorities closed the unsanitary landfill Vrtijeljka and promised the full rehabilitation of the site.


Description
Vrtijeljka unsanitary dump site is located 6 km away from The Old Royal Capital of Cetinje and has been used for solid waste disposal since 1987. The conditions at the landfill do not meet environmental standards, as the landfill is not fenced, there is no ramp for control and charging, there is no lighting or hydro-isolation, and the access road is narrow and damaged. The solid waste is disposed directly on the ground as there are no impermeable bottom layers, so the waste water and leachate permeates and pollute the soil and probably groundwater. Frequent occurrence of waste burning has been reported. In autumn 2011, residents from the local settlements Zabrdje, Dobrsko Selo, Lipa Dobrska and Zagrablje started to complain about the smoke and the smell from the dump site that should have been officially closed since 2008. The locals reported the presence of medical waste at the landfill as well as a large amount of waste from city of Budva, known as “tourist capital of Montenegro”, being disposed at night. In August 2012, 15 local people from Zabrdje (mostly Roma employed in the Public Utility Company Cetinje) blocked the Vrtijeljka landfill site and demanded its rehabilitation according to the measures defined by EU Directives and Montenegro legislation. The local people had been accused of setting the landfill on fire deliberately in the search for metals. They denied these claims explaining that the smoke from burning garbage had the most negative effect on their families. In July 2012 in Cetinje “Project – Consulting” Ltd (PROCON) organised a meeting attended by The Old Royal Capital of Cetinje, the Ministry of sustainable development and tourism, and representatives of the international consultant COWI. At the meeting, terms and time frame of the project "Analysis of the way of collection, transport and treatment of waste from Cetinje and preparation of conceptual design and tender documents for the rehabilitation of Vrtijeljka dump site" was agreed. The first phase of the project including analysis of the way of collection, transport and treatment of the waste from Cetinje, was prepared in November 2012, as well as the analysis of the existing situation on unsanitary dump site. The implementation of the unsanitary landfill rehabilitation was envisaged for 2013/2014. Previously, in 2012 the Mayor of The Old Royal Capital of Cetinje stated the new vehicle will be provided to PUC Cetinje, so part of the huge amount of garbage coming to Vrtijelka could be transported to the bigger regional landfill Livade in Podgorica. In December 2015, the Assembly of Cetinje adopted a decision on the closure of unsanitary landfill Vrtijeljka, as well as selected a company that will do EIA study. In March 2016, Directorate of Public Works Podgorica published tender for design and rehabilitation of the dumpsite. 
Basic Data
NameUnsanitary landfill Vrtijeljka, Montenegro
CountryMontenegro
SiteCetinje
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Waste Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Specific CommoditiesDomestic municipal waste
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe dump site has a surface area of approximately 5,000 m2. In total 63,000 m3 of waste was disposed from 1987 to 2005 as indicated in the Republic Level Waste Strategic Master Plan (adopted in 2005). The average amount of waste deposited annually to this dump site landfill is 21,500 tonnes. The closest settlement is located 500 m from the dump site.
Project Area (in hectares)4.5
Level of Investment (in USD)Approx. 1,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected PopulationAround 1,000
Start Date11/2011
Company Names or State EnterprisesProject – Consulting Ltd (PROCON) from Montenegro - State founded National Project Implementation Unit in the Field of Communal Services and Environment
COWI from Denmark - International consultant, in charge of sanitation and rehabilitation of the dump site
Public Utility Company Cetinje from Montenegro - Delivery of garbage
Public Utility Company Budva from Montenegro - Delivery of garbage
Relevant government actorsMinistry for Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro; Cetinje Municipality; Local government.
International and Financial InstitutionsEuropean Commission (EC) - Financing the preparation of technical documentation and remediation
European Investment Bank (EIB) - Financing the preparation of technical documentation and remediation
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersLocal communities
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingIndustrial workers
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Roma
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Official complaint letters and petitions
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Fires, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Waste overflow
Potential: Soil erosion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Potential: Accidents, Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseEnvironmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Negotiated alternative solution
Application of existing regulations
Development of AlternativesThe local residents demanded from the local government to close and rehabilitate the dumpsite.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The dumpsite was officially closed in 2015. The sanitation and remediation process has not started yet.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Analysis of the Way of Collection, Transport and Treatment of Waste from Old Royal Capital of Cetinje and Preparation of Conceptual Design and Tender Documents for the Rehabilitation of “Vrtijeljka” Dumpsite Design and Tender Documents for the Rehabilitation of “Vrtijeljka” Dumpsite
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Analysis of the Way of Collection, Transport and Treatment of Waste from Old Royal Capital of Cetinje and Preparation of Conceptual Design and Tender Documents for the Rehabilitation of “Vrtijeljka” Dumpsite
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References

IZVJEŠTAJ O RADU I STANJU U UPRAVNIM OBLASTIMA IZ NADLEŽNOSTI MINISTARSTVA ODRŽIVOG RAZVOJA I TURIZMA ZA 2013. GODINU
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PRILOG IZVJEŠTAJU EVROPSKE KOMISIJE O NAPRETKU CRNE GORE ZA 2013. za period 1. septembar 2013. - 1. april 2014.
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I Z V J E Š T A J
o stanju uredjenja prostora Prijestonice Cetinje za 2015. godinu
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Links

Mještani Zagrablja odblokirali „Vrtijeljku“
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Sanitation and remediation of dumpsite “Vrtjeljka” in Old Royal Capital Cetinje
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Lakše se diše: jenjava požar na cetinjskoj deponiji
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Mještani Zagrablja zaustavili istovar smeća iz Budve
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Mještani Zagrablja obustavili blokadu deponije
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Mještani Zagrablja zaustavili istovar smeća iz Budve
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DESIGN AND REHABILITATION OF VRTIJELJKA DUMPSITE IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF CETINJE, MONTENEGRO - Direkcija javnih radova Podgorica
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Media Links

DEPONIJA CETINJE- TV VIJESTI
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Other Documents

Residents of Zagrablje protesting One day blockade of the access road of unsanitary landfill Vrtijeljka by residents of Zagrablje, August 2012
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Unsanitary landfill Vrtijeljka near Cetinje Fire and smoke on dump site Vrtijeljka in Zagrablje near Cetinje, December 2011
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Meta Information
ContributorJovanka Spiric, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, vankajo(at)gmail.com
Last update25/05/2016
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