Rustavi, Georgia – On March 10, 2016, USAID Mission Director Douglas H. Ball attended a ceremony at Rustavi landfill to present equipment for measuring greenhouse gases (GHG) from landfills to Eka Sephashvili, Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure (MRDI), and Giorgi Shukhoshvili, Director of the National Solid Waste Management Company of Georgia (NSWMCG). The equipment was purchased at the request of the MRDI and is the first of its kind in Georgia.
Georgia has made commitments under the EU Association Agreement and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to monitor and reduce emissions of methane and other gases that contribute to global climate change. Until today, Georgia lacked the equipment and technical knowledge to fulfill this commitment. USAID’s Waste Management Technologies in Regions (WMTR) project is donating the equipment and will train NSWMCG technicians to use it.
As part of the event, a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed between the WMTR project and the NSWMCG. The GHG emissions from the Rustavi landfill will be measured on the spot. Within the framework of the memorandum, GHG emissions will be evaluated and a baseline will be developed along with a plan of activities to reduce the harmful environmental impact of GHG emissions. The baseline data will be used for developing plans for closure and aftercare of the landfills.
Since its inception in 2014, the USAID-funded WMTR project, implemented by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and the Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN), has been actively working to introduce sustainable waste management practices in two regions of Georgia: Kakheti region and Adjara Autonomous Republic. The project maintains strong working partnerships with all relevant governmental entities in order to maintain a cleaner and healthier environment and to minimize adverse impacts from waste on human health and natural resources.