Zero Waste Program

Complete Life - Zero Waste

It is not likely that we will achieve this in the near future, however, as an ideal situation, as a target to be achieved, this concept may be used as our vision. The issue of waste goes far beyond the exclusive authority scope of the public utility service providers and the state. The starting point of waste management is already at home: each person is individually responsible for preventing the production of waste.

The international definition of Zero Waste:

Zero Waste is a goal that is both pragmatic and visionary, to guide people to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are resources for others to use. Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to reduce the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them. Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water, or air that may be a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.

We started our Zero Waste Program in 2008. The main purpose of this program is to collect and share waste prevention practices. Since the start of the program in 4 exemplary settlements sustainable waste management programs were accepted, we announced tenders in the framework of a mass media campaign, we prepared brief movies, and we had wide press coverage. We visited several dozens of festivals with our Zero Waste Road Show, we held lectures at universities and we trained civil organisations. And we have not completed the work by far yet…

Nulla hulladék logo

Here is a summary of what has been done in the framework of our Zero Waste Program in the first two years:

1st May 2009: Zero Waste Program Inauguration Day

We organised the inauguration event of the Zero Waste Program on 1st May 2009 with the participation of several national celebrities, including: Bea Palya (singer), Péter Novák (musician), Judit Endrei (TV celebrity, Lifestyle coach) and approx. 100 visitors.

May 2009 - August 2009: Dustbin Diet Competition

The Dustbin Diet Competition had a double objective: to collect more best practices from households, and to find people who are willing to appear in short movies and articles demonstrating that it is possible to maintain agreenhousehold. Those who entered the competition had to measure the amount and composition of their waste. Afterwards, they were shown various actions that could improve their attitude towards a life with no waste from conscientious buying, consumption and composting. We published the competition in the media and distributed around 2000 questionnaires at our events. We created a webpage ( that was   taken down at the end of the competition.

We received 101 applications, for which we awarded 10 winners. Five of them later agreed to participate in short movies and articles.

Articles on How to Reach Zero Waste in Your Everyday Life

We published a considerable number of articles containing advice and possibilities for a zero waste lifestyle. The articles were issued i  n popular Internet sites.

November 2010: Zero Waste Week

In the framework of the European Waste Prevention Week in November 2010, we organized a Zero Waste Week. We presented good national initiatives and best practices with the participation of several other national NGOs. Partner organisations contributed to the program by holding 35 different events.

www.nullahulladek.huAdvice on How to Reduce Your Waste

One of the aims of our project was to map and publish already existing Zero Waste best practices and to reach different groups of society with this information. One of our primary strategies to get the message out was to create the webpage. We constantly update this resource with articles, movies, documents and useful links. We identified the following groups, in each of which can be found thematic and targeted messages with advice on how to reduce their waste: 1. Public; 2. Schools; 3. Civil Society; 4. Government; 5. Municipalities; 6. Services; 7. Companies; 8. Media; 9. Scientific Groups.

 Short Movies About Best Practices for a Zero Waste Lifestyle

Twenty-one short movies were shot about national best practices and community initiatives, as well as 11 short movies from other countries which we dubbed or subtitled. We made agreements with various TV channels for the broadcast of these movies. Within the framework of these agreements, the movies reached 145000 households across Hungary through 30 June 2011.

Social Advertisements

We made five short public service film clips on five subjects: reuse, prevention, selective collection, composting, and over-consumption. The 30-second clips were broadcast across regional TV channels and the Internet, and we continue to use them for educational purposes.

The effect of the movies on the public, together with the consumption habits of the population and changes in attitudes towards waste were analysed by Forsense Ltd.

Zero Waste Network

We established the Zero Waste Network with the aim to bring together all the interested parties including civil society and other stakeholders. We elaborated the system and the conditions of membership. However, the network is informal, with no legal obligations for the members or membership fee. We signed cooperation agreements with the organisations that agreed with our aims and agreed to fulfil the conditions of membership.

Trainings for Civil Society

We organised workshops for representatives and decision-makers of member organisations of our network on the following topics: sustainable environment and society, non-profit management, network cooperation, organisational development and communication. The themes were selected after research made by our partner Association of Consultants for Sustainable Development. The research had two parts, an on-line questionnaire for smaller organisations, and interviews with people with great experience in the Green Movement. The series of workshops based on the outcome of this research involved 38 days of training with the participation of 140 people from 91 organisations.

2009-2010: Zero Waste Programs in 4 Flagship Towns

During 2009-2010, four towns agreed to accept and initiate Zero Waste Programs: Csór, Hajdúböszörmény, Tordas and Várpalota. The programs contained the following activities:

  • Public Research: We designed questionnaires with the aim of getting to know the residentsattitude towards waste management better, their knowledge about local systems, and how they imagine the municipalitys and their own role in the system. The questionnaires were then analysed and summarised

  • Zero Waste Plans: Preparation of the Zero Waste Plans was based on the results of the public research and consultations with municipalities, local environmental organisations and other stakeholders. An important aspect of the project was to concentrate equally on awareness-raising of the population, stimulation of local community involvement, and cooperation with local civil society. In the four flagship towns where the Zero Waste Plans were accepted , municipal bodies voted to officially take the Zero Waste Plans into account during future planning.

  • Local Communication: In 2010, we conducted awareness-raising activities for Zero Waste by organising local events where we shared games, distributed publications and organised competitions with Zero Waste prizes. We also published Zero Waste messages. For example, we sent articles to the coordinators in the four towns who published them in local media. In Várpalota, the local coordinator ensured that the 30-sec clips were regularly broadcast on the local television channel. Moreover, we made a short movie about the compost program, and made interviews concerning the status of the experimental phase of the waste selection system.


On Tour 

Within the framework of a tour, we visited 36 festivals with our interactive exhibition on waste prevention. The experience was summarised and shared in a series of articles.

Calls for Tender    

We published two calls for waste reduction tenders for students:

  • We asked students to examine their attitude towards waste in their everyday school activities.
  • We published a photo tender in which we asked applicants to show and call attention to waste problems.

University Lectures

We gave twenty-five lectures about the Zero Waste Program at five different universities, where around 60-80 students participated on each occasion.

Accredited Zero Waste Manager Education Material

Education material was prepared in order to train environmental or waste management experts, project leaders in civil society and municipality personnel. The aim was to prepare the responsible parties to think beyond traditional waste management systems and develop coherent cycles, based on prevention measures and community systems.