Recent article summaries from Ekopartner - monthly magazine on the environment and sustainable development


Source: Ekopartner

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AGD - household goods. New solutions.

An electronic device becomes less valuable very quickly. What to do with used TVs or refrigerators? This year we will throw them away. Next year we will give them back for recovery. A statistical inhabitant of Europe throws away approximately 14 kilograms of wastes (used household equipment) which often consist of harmful substances like lead, cadmium, chromium, beryllium, freons. All those elements are capable of transferring into the soil, ground waters and air what seriously endangers the environment.

What is more, the collection of used devices at disposal sites causes an irretrievable loss of thousands tones of secondary materials such as metal, glass and plastic.

Poland has already elaborated a legal act on used electric and electronic - operated devices. The aim of this document, which becomes effective from 2005, is the assurance of maintaining a high level of used equipment recycling, which includes the obligatory collecting factor - 4 kilograms yearly per inhabitant up to 31st December 2008. A high level of recovery and recycling must be also achieved.

This legal act, which is currently under consultations, describes the principles of handling used equipment. Generally, the one who introduces new equipment into the market will be obliged to collect used electric and electronic - operated devices from households (directly from retail and wholesale sellers, to which he delivered new devices). However, if the equipment doesn't come from industry or companies, the supplier should receive it back directly from the producer of these wastes.

A report of Polish National Atomic Energy Agency (PAA) for 2003.

The level of atomic security in Poland hasn't changed in the year 2003 according to the National Atomic Energy Agency's Report for year 2003. At the distance of 300 km from Polish boundaries 11 atomic power stations are situated. Their total power installed is approximately 16.000 MW. The Chief of PAA Board assures that the level of atomic security in the Polish region hasn't decreased in the year 2003, although a breakdown at Paks nuclear power station in Hungary occurred. Most of the world's and European working energetic blocks noted very high disposal indicators and no one has reported any radiation threat being a result of their maintenance.
Measurements of gamma radiation background and radioactivity of environmental materials made in year 2003 in Poland indicate that the gamma dose rate and the containment of artificial radionuclides in air, precipitation, surface waters and drinking water are on the same level as they were before the Charnobyl disaster. Currently only in some zoogenic food products (e.g. game) and phytogenic (e.g. mushrooms) the Cs 137 isotope is still present and its containment is higher than the level of Cs 137 isotope in 1995.
Poland has also brought into force new legal acts. They have been merged into the Atomic Act from May 1st 2004, which aims to adapt Polish law regulations to the European Union's requirements. However, nuclear and radiation security systems already exist, continuation of legal support and strengthening response methods in case of radiation alarms is still required. It will surely guarantee the reliability of emergency services.

Water protection in the Gulfs of Gdansk and Puck - time for summary.

Water protection in the Gulfs of Gdansk and Puck - is the main topic of the conference which was organized by WFOSiGW (Viovodship Fund of Environmental Protection and Water Management) in Gdansk which aimed to summarize 10 years of investments, researches and management provided by the Fund to protect the Baltic waters. A detailed program for water protection in the Gulfs of Gdansk and Puck was launched at the beginning of 90's. Nowadays we can notice its effects - all Baltic beaches in Pomorskie voivodship are available for swimming. As an additional result of it - many researches were done and Baltic water protection programs came to life. Biological balance in this water basin was also restored. A real success among all ecological education centers in Poland and Europe was a seal aquarium on Hel peninsula. However there is still much to do if it comes to protection of the whole Baltic waters' drainage basins.

Professional insertion of young people aiding housing communities and inhabitants in the field of sustainable development.

Project was elaborated by a French organization "Gestionnaires sans Frontieres" and implemented in Poland by the GSF's partner structure Menedezerowie bez Granic-Polska". The project has the financial support of the French Energy Saving and Environmental Agency (ADEME). In Poland the project is implemented with the support of the Polish Energy Saving Agency (KAPE) and the National Energy Saving Agency (NAPE).

General objectives to be reached:

- To aid housing communities in reducing costs linked with the usage of energy, water, gas, electricity
- To create new jobs for graduates of technical universities. These new jobs have to be financed by the acquired economies.
- To reduce negative impact of human activities on the environment.
- To ensure inhabitants' participation in a decision-taking process.

"Menedzerowie bez Granic" association already employs two engineers and co-operates with two housing communities located in Warsaw.
Within the project, our engineers perform the following tasks:

- They carry out energy audits.
- They inform inhabitants, how to change their behavior in order to reduce their energy, water, electricity, gas usage.
- At the end, they conduct questionnaires, in order to evaluate the quantitative and qualitative effects of the whole action.


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