In Serbian rivers garbage is what mostly floats26.Jan 2021.
The environmental bombs we have seen recently, floating on the Lim and the Drina rivers are not the only ones. Across Serbia, citizens throw everything that reaches rivers or river banks, so scenes of various garbage, in which “there is nothing missing”, are the rule rather than the exception on local watercourses. When it comes to raising environmental awareness among citizens, then it should be borne in mind that unscrupulous individuals have a role model in local governments. They imitate the municipal authorities that turned the rivers into city landfills. Ljubovija located its landfill on the Drina, and Priboj, Prijepolje and Nova Varos turned Lim into a landfill.
Thus, the Drina can be proud of the fact that there are over 50 illegal and urban landfills on it. In addition to the contributions of citizens who diligently build wild dumps from generation to generation with discarded bottles and bags, lazy pickers can also find used medical syringes in floating garbage, and the credit for them belongs to the Health Center in Ljubovija. Utilities are not lagging behind either, so the Drina is enriched with packaging made of oil, lubricants, but also creosone and other toxic substances. Individuals and institutions donate words and piles of used car tires to the joint forces. The local government has been promising for years that it will move the city landfill. And he hasn’t kept his promises for years. The municipality also received money for the remediation of the landfill, which was spent, parts of the location were rehabilitated, grassed and planted with poplars, but garbage is now disposed of only twenty meters away.
Once one of the cleanest rivers in Europe, Lim is today practically a huge garbage can. This garbage is the fruit of brotherhood and unity, which obviously has not died out, at least in this field. The garbage initiative is first initiated by the ecological state of Montenegro, and the inhabitants of all places through which Lim passes in our neighboring country are equally committed to waste accumulation: Plava, Andrijevice, Berane and Bijelo Polje. As soon as the border is crossed, Serbia is activated. Residents of Brodarevo, Prijepolje, Nova Varos and Priboj are entering the scene, not lagging behind Montenegrin activists in waste collection. Finally, a more modest but no less significant contribution is made by the inhabitants of Rudo, which is located in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the lower reaches of the Lim River. Entrepreneurship also participates in garbage projects. There are hundreds of turners next to Lim, so the sawdust that is thrown into the river destroys the fish stock. The most endangered is Potpecko Lake. The landfills of Priboj, Nova Varos and Prijepolje are located on the shores of the lake and Lim river. The waste reaches the lake by river, and then to the hydroelectric power plant. Turbines often brake huge tires, car wrecks, dead cattle, various plastic waste. The confluence of the Uvac and Lim rivers in Priboj itself is also frightening, because the confluence of these two rivers is practically invisible from millions of plastic bottles.
In the unhappy competition which river in Serbia will appear “dead”, Velika Morava is among the first, which represents a kilometer-long landfill, since it is clogged with garbage in almost the entire course. Velika Morava is an endless exhibition of waste. There are old cars, car tires, furniture, all kinds and models of white goods, not to mention plastics. Some future archaeologists could determine a lot about this time and on the basis of the remains from slaughterhouses that ended up in Velika Morava. There are thousands of landfills along the river, almost every 200 to 300 meters, or rather wherever you can approach by car. Only inaccessible places were defended from garbage, and that is only about ten percent of the entire course of the river. Velika Morava is also polluted by communal industrial waters, which flow into it through direct outlets or through smaller watercourses. All in all, the river joins forces with garbage and villages and towns on its banks.
The shells of old cars “adorn” the banks of the river Ibar, the people of Kraljevo could boast about. This and other rivers in the area of Kraljevo are endangered by solid waste thrown by citizens, but also by wastewater that is discharged untreated into rivers. The rivers are endangered by the locals, but also by the owners of shops, slaughterhouses, production plants who unload their industrial waste on the shores. On the banks and in the rivers, there is household furniture, cars, entrails and dead animals in “pieces”, sawdust. Even more dangerous is waste that is not visible, and changes the chemical characteristics of water.
Unforgettable scent of Belgrade
Finally, let’s not bypass the capital. In September last year, Belgrade had the honour of dedicating the entire text to the French news agency France Press on how the city government deals with wastewater. Pointing out that Belgrade is the only European capital that releases its unfiltered wastewater into the second longest river on the continent, French journalists describe in detail how this operation is being carried out. It is not a secret, it is noted in the text, but it is about something that no one wants to talk about. Everyone knows and everyone pretends to be crazy. That is why there is an undisguised “disgusting stench that spreads from the turbid water of brown colour, full of feces that are discharged into the river.”
In the same text, foreigners could learn that Belgrade is definitely worth a visit, because it preserves something of the exotic that has not existed in many other European capitals for a long time. This is a fact that about a third of the inhabitants of the capital of Serbia are not connected to the sewerage network and rely on septic tanks, the contents of which are discharged directly into rivers. In other words, in Belgrade, both inside the city and on its rivers, one can still experience the authentic scent of the past.