Independent candidate for Zagreb mayor Sandra Švaljek held a press conference on the World Water Day on the topic "Sufficient Sludge!". Švaljek noted that Zagreb citizens and Zagreb companies pay the most expensive water among the towns in the environment and that due to the unfavorable contract from the city budget, yearly, 100 is allocated to 120 million for Zagreb wastewater.
The main theme of this year's World Waters is wastewater, which is why a conference was held at the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant of the City of Zagreb. Sandri Švaljek he also joined the conference Mirko Budiša, a member of its expert team in charge of environmental protection and waste management.
Šemjek pointed out that the Zagrebers pay the highest water prices among the cities in the environment. The price paid by the companies is twice as high as the one they pay for the households, which means that Zagreb companies pay an extraordinary fee and this damages their competitiveness.
- What is less well known, the concession contract with the Zagreb wastewater is disadvantageous for the citizens, and is favorable for the concessionaires. Every year the concessionaire, besides earning income by charging his citizens compensation, has the right to additional income from the city budget to the amount contracted by the concession contract. Each household is paying more 400 to 500 kunas per year, because for Zagreb wastewater from the budget yearly it allocates 100 to 120 million kuna. This amount could be funded by four to five kindergartens with ten tuition groups or two major primary schools for 400 students - added Švaljek.
He further emphasized that this authority had already not solved the sludge from the purifier for 16 years.
- There is still waste sludge in Zagreb's waste water, which today is almost half a million tons. Every year new 50 thousands of tonnes of this waste sludge are produced, for which there is no room left. According to some estimates, Zagreb would now have to pay about 40 million kuna per year for the removal and possibly incineration of this sludge, which is enough to build two kindergartens for ten educational groups - the categorical Svaljek.
He also reminded that the water supply system in the City of Zagreb is in poor technical condition, and the losses of the water system are almost 50 percent.
- This increases the price of water we pay for, and for the transportation to the final consumers it is also consumed an enormous amount of electricity. The modernization of the water supply and drainage system is therefore one of the priority projects in Zagreb. The estimated cost of this project is around 160 million, and part of this investment can also cover funds from EU funds - he concluded.
Mirko Budiša, a member of the team responsible for environmental protection and waste management, spoke of a solution for the disposal of waste sludge.
- The city of Zagreb predicted the mentioned half a million tonnes to be disposed of by incineration in the incinerator, but according to our incinerator program there will not be an integrated waste disposal plan in which the sludge is included. Waste sludge is for us a resource, or raw material for biogas production. Once biogas is produced, the remainder can be composted and, depending on the quality of the compost, used on agricultural land. So the production of gas and material sludge recovery is in line with the guidelines of the new National Waste Management Plan - Budiša said.
Sandra Svaljek said that the worst part of the contract is the one that guarantees the concessionaire annual income, and all the risk of not generating this income is transferred to the citizens.