Aerial view of the futuristic bridge connecting the island of Krk to the mainland

Aerial view of the futuristic bridge connecting the island of Krk to the mainland

Blog #9: KRK – Towards pollution minimisation

KRK – On the right way towards pollution minimisation

The city of Krk represents an administrative, business and educational center of the island inhabitants, while as far as tourism is concerned, Krk is a very attractive and picturesque summer holiday spot which above all offers the feeling of elegance and historical heritage on which the new and diverse tourism offer is based. Nowadays, the city of Krk represents one of the most desirable tourism destinations and was already several years in a row awarded with the prestigious title of being the best small city to live in throughout Croatia.

The Island of Krk is the most northern and one of the largest islands in the Adriatic Sea, situated in the Kvarner Bay, east of Istrian peninsula. This island covers an area of about 405 km2 and it is surrounded by several islets. The island is divided into the City of Krk, the major center of the island with its about 6,500 citizens, and six other municipalities: Punat, Baška, Dobrinj, Malinska, Omišalj and Vrbnik. The population of the island is 19,286 inhabitants.

Being one of the most visited Islands in the Adriatic Sea, the whole island, with the city on top, experiences a large number of tourists for the whole year with large peaks in the spring/summer period. The Island hosts around 800.000 tourists per year for more than 4 million overnight stays.

The marina of the city of KRK

This pressure makes the Island particularly vulnerable as the city needs to anticipate the need of services for a population that normally can reach 5 times its usual size and to preserve its most important assets (nature, landscape, biodiversity…) that have a value also for the local economy.

This is why the City of Krk actively works to innovate and introduce smart solutions locally.

Waste management: a door to door system to reduce tourists’ impact

Tourism contributes substantially to municipal solid waste generation, yet the waste from tourism systematically remains hidden behind residential waste flows.

When numbers are enlarged by tourist inflow and waste generated by it, communal infrastructure in tourism destinations is mostly not intended for such a large concentration of people – tourists in short periods during the year. This mostly occurs during the summer season which represents a base situation in which all possible problems arise.

According to analysis results, for every one-unit increase in tourist traffic on the island of Krk, amount of waste generated increases by an average of 0.001 tons. The island of Krk and its communal company Ponikve – Eco Island Krk are, and can be, to many tourist destinations a role model of responsible waste management during the whole year, not just tourism season. It is overlooked in its efficient management practices of separate waste collection, recycling, door-to-door waste collection system, constant investments in Treskavac recycling yard and many others. The company constantly updates its business and invests into new initiatives and projects for further evolving and improving existing facilities and/or practices.

“Door to door” waste collection system

Krk, despite many challenges, managed to overcome problems and difficulties of growing waste generation and tourism inflow and it is assumed that it will continue to do so in the future years due to its successful management, leadership and applied practices.

Waste sorting plant – Treskavac

Smart Mobility: Eco cycling as a solution

The KrkBike project is extremely important for raising the quality of life on the island, developing the tourist economy and branding the island of Krk as an eco-destination. It was co-financed by the funds of Krk’s city administration and the Ministry of Tourism. The KrkBike project will contribute to the development of cycle tourism on the island of Krk, as one of the most promising backbones of active tourism, for which there is an increasing interest from tourists, as well as from the local population.

Parked bicycles of the KrkBike project

As part of environmentally friendly practices, bicycle rental stations are built in the city of Krk and all Krk municipalities, consisting of a control cabinet and 10 stands with electric bicycles and a bench for charging laptops and mobile phones as well as repairing bicycles. The e-bike rental systems of all local units are networked, so that an e-bike can be rented at one location and returned at another. The advantage of such a concept is the connection of the entire area of the island and the networking of the municipalities and the city of Krk into one entity.

The role of CLIMABOROUGH in Krk’s  process, waste at the heart

Within the Climaborough project, the city of Krk aims to work in the field of the impact of tourists on climate neutrality to find smart solutions to reduce its impact in the periods with more pressure on the ecosystems.All types of waste pollution created today and released into nature, remains a problem for the future generations. Even the slightest initiative to reduce our adverse environmental impact will contribute to the quality of life today and in the future.

This is why it is important to support cities and other similar areas subject to heavy touristic pressures, mostly when this is a threat for natural locations.

The city of Krk acts as a follower in the project with a particular interest on waste and circularity, considered particularly impactful on its ecosystem