Arnika helped with the creation of the Green Map and an environmental information centre in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. In this application (for smartphones), people can find locations for the proper disposal of old electronic equipment where it can be professionally managed and mitigated with minimum environmental impact. The information centre has already helped more than 450 citizens. Inhabitants of Minsk predominantly use the telephone for their inquiries. Such inquiries and issues provided the source material for the creation of Green Map.
"Consumer questions are the most frequent such as where to throw out old refrigerators, televisions, or discharged batteries. The Green Map application was launched to improve navigation for people. This interactive map of Minsk shows locations where people can dispose of no longer used equipment. Not only household equipment can be deposited, but also sorted waste, old furniture, or even books." explains Deputy Director of Belarus Centre for Environmental Solutions Evgeny Lobanov.
To achieve the most efficient and readily available way of informing people about salvage points, modern technology of interactive map was implemented. This technology gives access to everybody who needs the information via smartphone. Also, a website was launched as a part of the consulting and information centre. It informs consumers about chemical security – it includes correct methods for handling of waste. Additionally, it offers various manuals and books which provide information about waste and toxic substances.
"We are glad to help our Belarusian colleagues by sharing our experiences from running our own environmental information and consulting centre, Arnika which has been operating for many years. I remember when civil society had only begun developing in the Czech Republic. In these times, foreign instructors and consultants visited us and taught us. Today, we can partially return the favour by sharing their experiences with others." says about the project manager from Arnika Association, Martin Skalský.
The information and consulting centre was founded as a part of an international partnership project supported by European Union, Czech Development Agency, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was launched at the beginning of 2012.