Norrköping and Bihac – Bosnia Herzegovina

NORBIH – Partnership with focus on the waste management area.

The initiative for the partnership arose in summer 2021 by Bosnian diaspora in Norrköping after discussions with Bosnian cities on connecting to Swedish cities for partnership and exchange of knowledge. The City of Bihac sent a formal request to Norrköping on working together in a partnership.

In order to land on a common ground and find a specific topic to start the partnership, the two local communities prepared a joint application for the Inception Phase for which they decided to initiate discussions and exchanges on the topic of improvements in environmental protection, specifically in waste management.

The application regarding Inception phase was approved in the beginning of 2022 and so far the two communities held several online meetings and organised two exchange visits which were very instrumental for identifying problems both partners would like to address through this project. The inception project has led to a decision to apply for a partnership project with a focus on waste management. As the Municipality of Norrköping is very advanced in integrated waste management and one of the top municipalities in Sweden regarding this area, the City of Bihac got a lot of useful inputs and inspiration for the design of its part of the project.

The city of Bihac has around 56,000 inhabitants and does not have an adequate integrated solid waste management system. Although all citizens have access to the waste collection service, solid waste is disposed of in the unsanitary landfill.

Over the last 10 years the city introduced waste separation at source by erecting several ”eco islands” throughout the city. In one pilot part of the city free bins were distributed to individual households for paper and plastic. Although some citizens embraced the introduction of waste separation the amount of collected separated waste is still negligible and only 1.5% of the total of 20,000 t. The reason for such a low level of waste separation is that waste is not seen as a priority within the organisation. The citizens also have low awareness about waste separation and its impact on the nature.

The municipality of Norrköping adopted a new waste management plan in 2020 with ambitious goals in minimizing the amount of waste. Unfortunately the plan is not fully implemented in the municipal organization and the project will therefore focus on implementation of the waste management plan goals. In Norrköping we will involve at least three different municipal units to be pilot units.

Overall objectives:

1. Contribute to environmental protection through better waste management practice

2. Contribute to higher environmental awareness

3. Contribute to reducing quantity of mixed municipal waste