This year's TeSzedd! ("YouPickIt!") drive was once again successful and effective, with participants collecting several thousand tons of rubbish. Within the framework of the Working Together for a Cleaner Hungary movement, volunteers from all over the country put on their gloves to make the environment more beautiful and cleaner. Hungary's largest rubbish collection initiative took place in 700 settlements and at over 1500 sites. Experience has shown that in places where the TeSzedd! volunteers collected rubbish last year, there was less waste this year.
The drive was organised jointly by the Ministry of Rural Development, the Ministry of the Interior, the National Waste Management Agency and the National Civil Police Association. A primary sponsor of the event was the Media Service Support and Asset Management Fund (MTVA). This year too, individual volunteers, businesses, local governments, schools and non-governmental organisation applied to participate in the TeSzedd! drive. This year too, the goal of the drive was to get rid of unmanaged, derelict piles of waste. The chief patron of this year's TeSzedd! 2012 national rubbish collection drive was Minister for Rural Development Sándor Fazekas, while the professional director was Zoltán Illés, State Secretary for Environmental Affairs.
Some 110 thousand people registered in advance for the drive, and according to estimate around the same number of volunteers joined them at the collection points. There are no exact figures as yet as to how many tons of rubbish the participants removed from the environment, but according to preliminary estimates at least 3 thousand tons of waste was collected thanks to the sustained efforts of the volunteers.
"The new bill on waste, which is before parliament at the moment, has set as its goals an increase in the level of selectivity and the ratio of recycling", said Zoltán Illés at one of the TeSzedd! drive's sites in Budapest. The State Secretary for Environmental Affairs of the Ministry of Rural Development stressed that "With the introduction of the deposit on bottles, the Government aims to make sure that it will not be worth throwing bottles away. The landfill contributions encourage less waste to end up in landfills and for recycling to come to the forefront instead."
Several politicians also took part in the work. The drive was launched in Karcag by Minister for Rural Development Sándor Fazekas. The Ministry's Parliamentary State Secretary, Gyula Budai, also donned gloved on June 2 and took part in the country's largest rubbish collection drive in the capital's 17th District. State Secretary for Rural Development Zsolt V. Németh helped local volunteers collect forty bags of rubbish from the edge of the forest near the town of Ivánc. State Secretary for Agricultural Economy György Czerván worked together with locals to clean the area around the fishing lake in Tápiószentmárton.
Minister of Defence Csaba Hende took part in the nationwide rubbish collection drive at Szombathely. Károly Kontrát, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior helped local volunteers in Pápa; Deputy State Secretary for the Economy and Information Technology László Tóth, State Secretary for Economic Regulation of the Ministry of National Economy Kristóf Szatmáry, and Estonian Ambassador Priit Pallum also took part in the drive.
Hungary's largest refuse collection drive was organised jointly by the Ministry of Rural Development and the Ministry of the Interior, and this year, the event's funding, the procurement of bags and gloves, and the expenses of the professional removal and depositing of the rubbish collected by the volunteers was taken on by the National Waste Management Agency. The Water Directorates distributed 100 thousand pairs of rubber gloves and the same number of bags among volunteers with the help of the National Civil Police Association. The refuse collected in the TeSzedd! bags will be removed by local refuse collection public services.
The movement began last year with the hope of creating a tradition to be repeated each year, and became Hungary's most successful civil initiative.
(Press Office of the Ministry of Rural Development)