Waste Management in Vushtrri, Kosovo

An effective system even during the Pandemic

Photo: Nevena1987 | istock

The strategy and implementation of waste management in the city of Vushtrri before and during the pandemic

The city of Vushtrri in north-eastern Kosovo, with around 70.000 inhabitants and an area of 345km2, has significantly improved its waste management, waste separation and recycling in the last three years. While about three years ago, only 40 percent of the territory had access to waste disposal, today it is 100 percent. In addition, illegal waste dumpsite has been reduced thanks to the government from 100 to 11.

How could this outstanding achievement be made? In Kosovo, the municipalities are responsible for waste disposal according to the law. Vushtrri cooperates with the company "RWC Uniteti" for this purpose and has provided each house with a waste bin free of charge. Moreover, citizens in remote parts of Vushtrri also pay the same prices for the service as within the city, although the logistics costs are higher. In this way, the city succeeds in protecting vulnerable groups. Another vital component of Vuhsstri's success is education. Environmental protection and waste management are addressed in all schools, for example, in so-called "Green Clubs" where pupils carry out projects on recycling.

The Covid-19 pandemic posed many challenges to the implementation of waste management in the city of Vushtrri. One challenge was the loss of revenue last year. Shops and businesses that had to close for several months due to the pandemic and families living in difficult socio-economic conditions could not always afford the cost of the waste management service. In addition, the already unstable price for the sale of recycled waste has been erratic and falling.

How did the city respond to this challenging situation? Vushtrri waived the cost of waste management for all families living in difficult socio-economic conditions from March to December 2020. In addition, an online payment system was introduced. Furthermore, the new waste management action plan 2021-2025 will take into account the lessons learned from the pandemic.

Further Information:

Current Situation of the Waste Management System in Vushtrri (pdf, 980 kb)

Recording of the event (Presentation on Vushtrri starts min. 40): Managing solid waste during the pandemic (Only for those registered on the Connective Cities Platform)


Xhafer Tahiri
Vushtrri municipality
Republic of Kosovo

Connective Cities

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