Project on separate collection of secondary materials among power engineers and pupils “Eco-Party (Your Conscious Sorting Alternative)”

In 2011, Prykarpattiaoblenergo JSC set an ambitious aim to “be the best environmentally-friendly company”, that meant minimizing its impact on the environment. A number of important changes have been made for this purpose:

– created a “green office” with the development and implementation of energy efficiency and resource efficiency programs (introduced electronic document management, improved vehicle fleet logistics and reduced paper use);

– began to send waste from production activities for recycling and utilization (car tires, transformer oil, paper, batteries and scrap metal);

– implemented an environmental program for the conservation of biodiversity (installation of anti-bird means under the program “Leleka” (Eng. “Stork”).

However, after analyzing our work in the field of ecology, we found that in the process of office activity, employees produce about 14 cubic meters of garbage per week, which is not sorted, but goes immediately to the local landfill.

In general, in Ukraine almost 95% of waste goes to landfills and only a small proportion is incinerated or recycled. In addition, today 99% of landfills do not meet environmental requirements. Such landfills can no longer function, as they are sources of the following dangers: the spread of infectious diseases, groundwater pollution, landfill gas formation and ignition. 

As for Ivano-Frankivsk Region, there are 32 landfills. Most have exhausted their resources or are on the verge of closing. In Ivano-Frankivsk, only about 3.2% of secondary materials are collected separately each year.



The initiative group decided to launch a project of sorting secondary materials at the enterprise and involve in the process as many employees as possible. With the support of the Sort Smart public initiative, we purchased boxes for separate collection of metal, plastic, paper, Tetra-Pak and glass. During working on the project, a number of meetings and trainings for the team were held, handouts were developed and experts were involved. 

The initiative of the separate waste collection was continued in the company’s central office by an educational project “Green Party” – Your Conscious Sorting Alternative. This is an educational project that started in May this year. Its purpose is to involve children in eco-thinking. The project is aimed at bringing our region closer to European standards for household waste management through environmental education of the children and through practical assistance to schools in removing recyclable materials. Collecting sorted waste in schools in Ivano-Frankivsk, we want to reduce the load on the local landfill to save natural resources. Through partnerships and volunteer work, we want to improve the process of waste sorting at the enterprise and to increase the level of environmental awareness of citizens in general.


Chronology of events

The idea of the materials sorting project appeared during the preparations for World Vyshyvanka Day, which this year was dedicated to the eco-consciousness of the people and was held under the slogan “Land of ancestors for future generations”. We were deeply concerned with the topic and realized that having a significant impact on the community in our region, we must do more for the environment and attract as many like-minded people as possible by our own example.

Therefore, we invited specialists from Sort Smart company and the Department of Biology and Ecology of Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University for Vyshyvanka Day (May 2021). The former conducted a workshop on sorting secondary materials for power engineers, while the latter helped with the development of booklets with visualization of the rules.

So, starting from May 2021, we started implementing the project in our central office and departments. On each floor and in the yard, there appeared separate boxes for tetra-packs, metal, glass, plastic, paper and household waste. In order to be sure that waste from various boxes does not end up in the landfill, Prykarpattiaoblenergo JSC has entered into agreements with storage companies. As a result, Visa-Vtorma company takes waste paper, glass and plastic, Kam-Med company takes non-ferrous metal, Karpattechnotsenter company takes black metal, and Sort Smart company takes Tetra-Pak for recycling.

The next step was to unite eco-volunteers and train them within the project framework. To consolidate the studied material, volunteers held a series of meetings with employees of the office and departments. In the same month, during the traditional opening of the cycling season, the power engineers of Prykarpattia held a collective cleaning event in the popular recreation centre “Vovchynets Hills”, where they collected 22 bags of rubbish.

During the project, constant informational propaganda is carried out among the company’s employees, namely: distribution of handbooks on the correct sorting of materials; electronic mailing; introduction of #чистогочетверга (cleanThusrday) in the company’s Telegram channel, with weekly eco-news; recording videos with sorting tips. 

Subsequently, on the occasion of World Clean-up Day on 18 September, an offer for employees was announced, where the office workers could exchange rubbish bins for a succulent for their “Green Office”. A total of 42 rubbish bins were exchanged, and this is an impressive number. In this way, we have involved even more employees in the sorting initiative, because now, for example, paper is more likely to end up in the waste paper bin.

It is also worth mentioning a campaign “We go, we see, we clean” within the framework of the tourist marathon at the company. The campaign has become permanent, uniting more and more of our colleagues who clean the mountain ranges.

Having established the sorting secondary materials process at the enterprise, we concluded that we can do more, and educational activities should start with the youngest. Thus, an idea of an eco-project for schoolchildren was born. It raises not only the topics of sorting but also important issues of protection and preservation of the environment and natural resources.

In September, the initiative group developed the concept and name of the project “Zelena TUSA (Engl. – Green Party)”, where TUSA stands for – твоя усвідомлена сортувальна альтернатива (Engl. -your conscious sorting alternative), a cooperation agreement with the environmental initiative of Sort Smart was signed and lessons for elementary school were developed.

As a company, we are committed to financially supporting the project and have assembled a group of volunteers to provide support during lessons and tours, and Sort Smart has taken on the responsibility of conducting training sessions and clubs. 

So, as soon as the children returned from the autumn holidays, for a week a representative of Sort Smart and a volunteer from Prykarpattiaoblenerho JSC conducted four lessons with pupils of grades 1-4 in 26 schools. We talked about the critical situation at landfills, about the value of secondary materials, showed in practice what labelling is and how to determine whether packaging is recyclable. Also, three boxes for separate collection of paper, plastic and Tetra-Pak were presented in each class, as this is the material produced the most in schools. The children had the opportunity to practically try to determine what exactly falls into their hands and send this or that material to the right container.

However, the main purpose is not just to start sorting garbage, but to show children what conscious consumption is and how it is responsible for their own lives in front of the environment. After the introductory lesson, pupils were invited to join the environmental group “Green Party”, whose prospects include studying and solving topical environmental protection issues in the hometown, as well as a lot of interesting meetings and educational tours. Meetings take place every Friday.

Within the frame of the project, members of the group participated in “Picnic at the sorting site”, tour at the sorting site, where children could feel like sorting consultants, see the whole process from the inside and at the end tasted hot tea from eatable cups.

Next meeting of the group was in the school, where they talked about the future of sorted materials, recycling and its final products, and played educational games on environmental themes.

That’s how the project is developing. Interesting event in the group’s life: a meeting with Nataliia Hasiuk and her creation Re Active, who make benches from recycled plastic; an educational lesson on the importance of plants and composting, and a visit to Re:laboratory, where microgreens was grown; and of course, the air, the most important thing, studying the concept of carbon footprint and its consequences, and then a raid through city to monitor air quality with the help of innovative Eco City sensors (Ivano-Frankivsk Citizen’s project, which involves children).

The plans are to continue the project in the second semester by announcing creative competitions for the best eco-event and the best environmentally-friendly teacher, as well as providing financial rewards and expert support for independent environmental movement at school from the company.

We do not want to be satisfied with what has already been achieved, because this city is, first of all, for our children. With successful implementation, this experience will be extended to neighbouring schools (middle and senior classes). In the future we plan the involvement of local authorities and education, to scale the project to all primary schools in the city.



Thus, within the frame of the project, enterprise in the office installed 25 boxes for the collection of secondary materials; organized an additional place on the street with collective tanks and sorted garbage into 6 types; conducted 9 eco-meetings with the company’s employees; involved 17 volunteers; made 6 videos; published 198 brochures and 60 bookmarks on environmental topics.

One of the most important indicators of this project will be the volumes of sorted materials, which differ significantly from last year’s ones. Comparison table with the volumes recorded at the enterprise is as follows:


Ferrous scrap

Non-ferrous scrap






55,603 kg

36,021 kg

3,084 kg


89,918 kg

36,856 kg

5,133 kg

4,800 kg

2,400 kg

31 kg


We see a positive tendency in separate waste collection at school: once a week our partners from Sort Smart pick up fully filled containers with well-sorted materials.


But the most important thing is and always will be the development of children’s environmental awareness. Since, the contribution to this may seem insignificant at first thought, but in the long-term perspective these insignificant actions will bring global benefits to society.


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