Spyros Neratzis: The role of Green Spots in local communities
CORFU. A long journey started in the community in July 2018 guided by our love for the islandand respect towards our fellow humans and the environment.
A long journey started in the community in July 2018 guided by our love for the islandand respect towards our fellow humans and the environment.
The first steps were taken by residents in Spartylas, Liapades and Sinies!
Without any criticism or conflicts, but with a simple desire to offer their voluntary services, residents in the aforementioned local communities showed the way. They were joined by other volunteers who carried on with this contribution to the community.
The road had opened and it soon became a highway as one village after another followed the lead.
Right from the beginning our position and the position of all the volunteers was clear! Waste management is the responsibility of the Municipality. Voluntary efforts cannot replace the local authority but can assist and make recommendations!
The start clearly came from the voluntary initiatives but we have to say that the participation of the then Deputy Mayor Spyros Kaloudis at all the presentations and in the planning played a decisive role in the number of Green Spots increasing. His presence and participation lent the force of the local authority.
Spyros Kaloudis visited a large number of places to make presentations and raise awareness including Pagi, Sinies, Roda, Benitses, Gimari, Lefkimmi, Nissaki, Kassiopi, Kastellani Mesi, Agios Athanasios, Kanoni, Gouvia, Barbati, Karousades, Avliotes, Korakiana, Agios Gordis, Acharavi, Moraitika, Epal, Lakones, Sidari and Agios Stefanos Avliotes.
Following the division of the island into three Municipalities, this participation was continued only by the local authority in North Corfu. They not only participated, but, as the local authority is obliged to do, took on the coordination and responsibility for the project to spread.
North Corfu Mayor Giorgos Mahimaris and Deputy Mayor Spyridoula Kokkali fulfilled the promises they had made in the election campaign and are implementing the National Plan for Waste Management.
The role of Green Spots
Many of our fellow residents try to evaluate the work done by volunteers and the Green Spots. They want recorded quantities, where the recyclable materials go and money given.
We want to tel them that YES all the volunteers working at the Green Spots give money! All of them contribute financially to the upkeep of each Green Spot! And they do it consciously and are happy to do it.
None of them look at the quantities or the collection of recyclable materials which, in most cases are unsustainable!
From 2018 we have stressed that Green Spots won't solve the problem of quantity as the amounts are small. The big change in the quantity of recyclable materials will come from large waste processors.
However, we need to point out the significant role played by Green Spots and the benefits! It isn't the number of tons and the percentages - it isn't how much. It is something much more important!
The creation of a culture, education and a change in attitude!
With over 47 Green Spots in North Corfu are there any residents who don't know about it? How big a change in our culture and respect for the environment has this brought about? How much have the relations between local communities been strengthened?
The fact that our Municipality calls these initiatives and people's participation in them "ridiculous" and "a big joke" is without doubt unfortunate and demeaning, does not befit the spirit of volunteerism and does not help support the efforts of the public.
We give warm thanks to these volunteers who lead us on this journey of knowledge and change of attitude towards the environment and our island.