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Improving the environment in Georgia

By EBRD  Press Office

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The EBRD is co-financing the construction of a new landfill for the disposal of solid waste in the Georgian city of Rustavi with a €1.6 million loan. The project was signed by the Minister of Finance of Georgia, Kakha Baindurashvili, and EBRD in Tbilisi today.

The project was initiated by BP, who have been helping Georgia develop EU standard waste disposal options over the last few years and who purchased the land and funded the engineering designs and impact assessment. The project will receive additional support through a US$1 million grant from BP in 2010.

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency SIDA is considering additional co-financing for the project. Technical cooperation funds provided by the donor community will accompany the implementation of the project.

The new landfill will serve the cities of Rustavi and Gardabani with a combined total of approximately 130,000 inhabitants. At the moment Rustavi’s waste is transported to a landfill in the capital Tbilisi, 40 km away, while Gardabani’s waste is disposed at a small, unsanitary facility near the town.

The Rustavi landfill will be the first in Georgia to be built and operated in accordance with EU directives and will reduce pollution and threats to health and safety of the population.

Reaching beyond the construction of the new landfill technical cooperation programmes will support the implementation of the project and the corporate development of the landfill management company. The medium-term goal is to develop the company into a viable commercial enterprise.

Paul-Henri Forestier, the new Director for the Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus and head of the EBRD Resident Office in Georgia, said “the project will have substantial benefits for many inhabitants of Georgia as it will not only offer a solution for the solid waste disposal in Rustavi and Gardabani, but will also alleviate the situation in Tbilisi. We are especially grateful for the strong support from our donors for whom, as it is for us, environmental protection and upgrades have always been a priority.”

Mr Forestier, who joined the EBRD in 2002, replaces Michael Davey who after more than two years in Tbilisi has been appointed Director for Turkey. The EBRD office in Tbilisi also serves as the Bank’s regional hub for the Caucasus.

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