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    Enhancement of natural areas

    Circular economy and social inclusion in Albania

The bay of Vlorë
  • The bay of Vlorë, the largest in Albania, is characterised by its splendid beaches and its proximity to parks and natural areas. However, increasing urbanization and anthropization are exerting strong pressure on the environment, as well as increasing social inequalities. Policies aimed at a sustainable economic development for the environment and the community therefore need to be promoted.

    Project objective: supporting the sustainable development of the Municipality of Vlorë by organising a municipal waste management system based on the principles of social inclusion and circular economy.

  • 61,000 locals and 60,000 tourists
    benefiting from the project

    100 hectares of the Soda pine forest
    cleared of rubbish


    30 beaches and 30 km of coastline
    redeveloped and returned to beachgoers

Monastery of Zvernëc


In recent decades, Vlorë has witnessed a rapid urbanisation. This phenomenon has been accompanied by an exponential growth in the number of tourists attracted by natural sights such as the Llogara national park, the marine protected area that includes the peninsula of Karaburun and the island of Saseno, and the protected landscape of Vjosa- Narta, which includes the well-known monastery of Zvernëc, one of the best preserved Byzantine monasteries in Albania.

This development has led to an increase in rubbish production, further exacerbated by the difficulties faced by local institutions in guaranteeing an adequate collection system, especially in rural and peripheral areas, and by the lack of environmental sensitivity by many residents who still dump materials of various type in public spaces.

The growing amount of plastic and metal waste has on the other hand created opportunities for the poorest sections of the population, who manage to earn a living by collecting and selling recyclable materials, thus reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and improving recycling processes.

The project

With this project, CELIM aims to improve environmental sustainability and reduce inequalities, by promoting the inclusion of sections of the population at risk of poverty, paying attention to gender issues, reducing the amount of waste produced, promoting more sustainable consumption patterns between companies and citizens and ensuring the recovery of recyclable materials.

To this end, the project envisages the creation of a separate collection system in suburban areas, the purchase of the means required to ensure optimal waste management (bins, containers, presses, etc.) and the organisation of a training and skill-building course for the employees of the company appointed by the Municipality of Vlorë for the management of waste, as well as the employees of the Municipality itself.

In addition, we plan to reclaim and redevelop at least 100 hectares of pine forest and 30 km of particularly polluted coastline to fight the environmental degradation affecting the natural and tourist areas north of Vlorë as a result of the many existing illegal landfills. Four of the most polluted sites will be transformed into environmental conservation centres.

Analysing soil, water and sludge samples from the Soda forest and the Narta lagoon to understand which polluting agents are affecting the area and the extent of this pollution will help draft a reclamation plan.

The project further envisages the selection and training of at least 10 people from the Roma ethnic minority, who will then be employed as sanitation workers and thus guaranteed a stable income and better working conditions.

Isle of Zvernec in the Narta Lagoon

Project’s overview

We aim to support a sustainable development of the Municipality of Vlorë, by setting up a strong urban waste management system based on social and environmental responsibility.


  • strengthening and improving the efficiency of the waste management company in the city of Vlorë, paying particular attention to collection in the natural areas of the Soda forest and in the Narta lagoon
  • selecting and training at least 10 socially disadvantaged people, who will then be employed as sanitation workers
  • developing procedures for waste collection in natural and coastal areas according to a circular economy model
  • identifying and implementing measures to reclaim polluted sites in the Soda forest and in the Narta Lagoon
  • drafting fire prevention guidelines for the Soda forest and implementing fire prevention measures
  • supplying vehicles and tools for the waste collection system in the Soda forest, in the Narta lagoon and along the coast
  • converting four polluted sites into environmental conservation centres
  • awareness campaigns aimed at schools and the Vlorë School of Tourism
  • awareness campaigns aimed at citizens and tourists.
  • My name is Manuel Castelletti and I am the country manager for CELIM in Albania
  • Project title
    VaLORË GREEN – A municipality-owned company model for environmental services and the rehabilitation and conservation of natural areas of the Municipality of Vlorë

    Project manager
    Manuel Castelletti, [email protected]

    July 2020 / July 2022

  • Partners
    – Municipality of Vlorë
    – Municipality of Milan

    Altri enti coinvolti
    – Arpa Lombardia
    – A2A-Amsa
    – Parco Regionale Campo dei Fiori
    – Politecnico di Milano



Support the activities

  • 20 €

    to purchase a rubbish bin

  • 50 €

    to help carry out soil and water analyses

  • 100 €

    to help reclaim illegal landfills

  • 250 €

    to help create firebreaks to prevent the spread of fires

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