Case study: Shkodër, Albania

Context and description:

The municipality of Shkodër is composed of 11 administrative units, comprising 202,254 residents.

The municipality has a privileged proximity to water systems, as its main city (Shkodër) lies on the largest lake of the Balkans, which has the same name, and is also situated on the banks of the Buna, Drink and Kir rivers. The municipality spans from the Adriatic Sea to the foothills of the Albanian Alps.

The municipality of Shkodër offers diverse economic and societal realities, which are reflected in its SWM system. The entire municipality was studied by dividing it into 4 clusters” to identify the upscaling potential of the WFD and capture the diversity of SWM operations.  The clusters included (i) area receiving high collection coverage, (ii) area receiving low Collection coverage, (iii) area with agricultural characteristic, and (iv) area with touristic activities.

Lessons Learned & Challenges

  • The clustering approach is a useful when a city has diverse SWM realities. Although it duplicates the workload, it offers more precise information;
  • Having a local guide saves a large amount of time and effort. Since contact with local stakeholders is more trusted, any plastic pollution hotspots are found more easily;
  • Very little data is available for the role of the informal recovery sector and approaching this sector can be challenging, especially when they are in conflict with local authorities.


Use of WFD / Triggered Change

  •  The application of the Step 4 of the WaCT, “MSW received by recovery facilities”, provides reliable information on the quantity of recyclables recovered, especially when the informal sector dominates the recovery value chain;
  • The use of the WFD allowed the municipality to understand the mechanisms that release plastics into the environment, and the need to expand collection services to rural areas and raise awareness;
  • The WFD results have been used in national events as a basis for opening discussions on tackling plastic pollution emissions. The Shkoder case study pioneered an approach to Upscaling results into wider regional assessment.

This case study was done by GIZ project Marine Litter Prevention in the Western Balkans and is part of the Compendium The Waste Flow Diagram: Identifying Leakages from Municipal Waste Management Systems.

This blog article can also be read as a PDF.

The compendium can be downloaded here.

Waste Flow Diagram