Clean Romania – 70 Tonnes of waste collected by 2,000 volunteers in the largest water cleaning campaign

The Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Korodi Attila, along with His Excellency Nicolae, the grandson of His Majesty the King Mihai I, with the sportsman Ivan Pataichin and TVR stars Catalin Stefanescu and Radu Naum, have closed the “Green 003” Campaign today in Galati.

Within the framework of the campaign, the river banks of the Dorna, Bistrita and Siret were cleaned by 2,000 young volunteers and public personalities on the route Vatra Dornei – Bicaz - Piatra Neamt – Bacau –Adjud – Marasesti – Galati. They managed to collect 70 tonnes of waste in these cities. 

“Green 003”, a project aimed at educating teenagers and involving them in solving environmental problems though voluntary activities, was implemented and developed by Tasuleasa Social Association and “Mai Mult Verde” association with the support of Coca‑Cola HBC Romania and in partnership with KissFM and SMURD. The initial goal of the Green003 campaign was to recruit and train at least 500 volunteers to collect 50 tonnes of waste. By the end of the action they mobilized approximately 2,000 young people and collected more than 70 tonnes of waste, as follows: 

28th May – Vatra Dornei – 10 tonnes of waste, 400 volunteers; 
29th May – Bicaz – 8 tonnes of waste, 200 volunteers; 
30th May – Piatra Neamt – 10 tonnes of waste, 450 volunteers; 
2nd June – Bacau – 10 tonnes of waste, 270 volunteers; 
3rd June – Adjud – 3 tonnes of waste, 75 volunteers; 
4th June – Marasesti – 15 tonnes of waste, 140 volunteers; 
5th June – Galati – 15 tonnes of waste, 570 volunteers 

A series of public personalities who sustain and promote the environment protection and volunteerism joined the action. The main supporters were His Excellency Nicolae, the grandson of His Majesty the King Mihai I, who arrived in Bacau on June 2nd and collected waste for four days, together with the volunteers, as well as the TVR producer Catalin Stefanescu, who joined them. 

In Piatra Neamt, Amalia Enache worked as a volunteer, and in Galati, Korodi Attila, the Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development. Radu Naum and Ivan Pataichin also gave a helping hand at cleaning. 
All the activities were implemented by the volunteers recruited in March 2008 by the Green003 Caravan, under the coordination of the leaders trained in Tasuleasa campus in May 2008. Divided into weekly groups of 30 persons each, the leaders guided volunteers in creation workshops and attended courses in survival techniques, career guidance, SMURD and law (for the purpose of setting-up a NGO). 

In just nine days (11th – 20th March) the Green003 Caravan gathered a record number of environmental volunteers in Romania: 1,700 volunteers recruited from nine towns and registered using the website: Many other volunteers directly joined activities in all of the seven towns on the campaign itinerary. Each cleaning day ended with a concert held by “Trupa 13“Band. 

Launched in 2007, the Green003 project has spent three years focusing on cleaning areas along the course of Dorna river from his headspring up to its flow in Bistrita, and then into Siret, reaching to the Danube. While in 2007 the volunteers along with the President Traian Basescu, celebrities and journalists cleared slopes in the Calimani Mountains, in 2008 they carried out ecologically supporting measures on the Dorna, 
Bistrita and Siret river banks. 

Green003 also has a virtual meeting space – This is where volunteers and initiators meet for discussions and obtaining information about the project and its phases.

Press statements 

“I do not believe in a Romania where only the authorities do their job, but in one where we all do our job. I have seen once in Bucharest a driver throwing a garbage bag out through the window. I have admonished him that he can’t do such a thing and he seemed to feel sorry. If the teenagers will do the same with their parents, neighbours or with anyone who throws the garbage on the ground, we all shall win and this is the Romania I believe in.”Korodi Attila, Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development

“We consider that sustainable development of a company can only be achieved in an educated society and in a healthy environment. It is our responsibility to contribute to the development of the communities in which we operate. We are convinced that the project will not stop here, but it will generate results further on. Planting 10, 000 seedlings last year and cleaning 450 km of river banks this year is only the exterior dimension of our efforts. However, the profound and perennial dimension consists of educating these young people who will constitute the basis of an active, aware and responsible civil society.”Calin Dragan, General Manager of Coca‑Cola HBC Romania

“We have come a long way, 450 km, from Vatra Dornei to Galati, and we have crossed several towns, we have collected waste, we have met many wonderful young people and we have made a lot of friends. Everybody’s bag of garbage is now in its place. Such an effort can only be accomplished through friendship, and I am glad to call friends all the volunteers who supported us.”Alin Uhlmann Useriu, President of “Tasuleasa Social” Association

“Most of the Romanians celebrate May 1st, the international workers’ day, by going out to a picnic. By way of contrast, we aimed to celebrate June 5th, world environment day, through labour. Romania’s future depends on the balance that we will be able to maintain between the picnickers and the volunteers.”Dragos Bucurenci, Director of the “Mai Mult Verde” Association

“This is my fourth day in the Green003 campaign, and I have seen in Galati the largest number of volunteers so far. I want to tell them that they should be proud and glad of their involvement in the environmental protection effort and in taking care of the place they live in. If you ask a child in Great Britain to pick up garbage lying on the ground he will refuse saying that this is not his duty and, and that’s the reason why I consider it to be extraordinary what I have seen happening in this project.”His Excellency Nicolae, the grandson of His Majesty the King Mihai I

“I desired by all means to come to Galati, where I have also spent my childhood, as a matter of fact, to greet you, to congratulate you and to tell you that you have done an extraordinary thing. I knew about this project one month earlier and I have been following its evolution closely, and I hope that such a model will be applied in the entire country, because we are in great need of it.”Ivan Pataichin, multiple Olympic medalist and coach of the Olympic kayak-canoe team

“This project is in fact a life experience which helps you understand what friendship and confidence truly mean. I am very glad to have participated directly in all this process, along with older and newer friends.”Catalin Stefanescu, TV programme producer , Romanian Television

“Beyond what has happened here, the cleaning that the volunteers have accomplished inside them is very important, and I hope that they will contaminate others, so that one day we shall look around us and find that suddenly it’s all clean.”Radu Naum, sportscaster, Romanian Television

Notes for journalists: 
1. Record data registered by the Green003 Caravan: 7 days. 7 towns (Vatra Dornei, Bicaz, Piatra-Neamt, Bacau, Adjud, Marasesti and Galati) on the itinerary of the largest water cleaning action in Romania. 65 high schools. 128 recruited leaders. 600 volunteers registered online. 450 km covered. 1,050 volunteers registered on the spot during the recruitment action. 400 volunteers who came directly for cleaning. 2,000 volunteers who demonstrated that the volunteerism in Romania is not a utopia, but an achievable phenomenon. 

2. Coca‑Cola HBC Romania integrates environment protection and sustainable development principles in all its actions and decisions. Since December 2003, Coca‑Cola HBC Romania has been one of the founder members of the ECOROM Ambalaje S.A., a recovery organisation similar to the ones in European Union member states, affiliated to the “Green Point” system, and committed to the recovery and recycling of packaging introduced in the market. Coca‑Cola HBC Romania is the exclusive bottler in Romania of the products of The Coca‑Cola Company, having in its portfolio a wide range of non-alcoholic beverages: sparkling and still beverages, nectars, teas, waters and energy drinks. 

3. The “Tasuleasa Social” Association is a non-profit organisation, based in Bistrita and established in January 2001. The mission of “Tasuleasa Social” Association is to strengthen the self-developing capacity of disadvantaged communities, by supporting them in resolving economic and social problems by involving the community members in finding viable solutions that correspond to community needs. The Association’s goal is to help ordinary people benefit from an adequate education and an income according to their personal qualifications. Tasuleasa Social is planting, besides seedlings, hope for people and their destinies. 

4. The “Mai Mult Verde” Association, a non-governmental, non-profit and environmental protection organisation, has the mission to build together with Romanians a healthy environment for us and for our children. “Mai Mult Verde” aims to raise public awareness about the environment and to support the green segment of civil society. The Association works only with solvable problems and does not set impossible targets. Protest will be the last solution, but when we will protest we will make sure that what we demand can be obtained. Under the High Patronage of Her Royal Highness Margareta of Romania, the “Mai Mult Verde” Association aims at changing things before it is too late. It is up to us how the future will look and if there will be anyone left to witness it!