Lek working hand in hand with local community - Payment for municipal wastewater treatment waived for Lendava residents until the completion of the sewage system - 25% reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases

Lendava to Obtain Cleaner Environment Through Construction of Composting Facility

6. 1. 2004

The construction of the composting facility next to the Lendava Wastewater Treatment Plant (LWTP), an investment of Lek Pharmaceuticals which should be completed in the autumn of this year (2004), represents a major benefit for the municipality of Lendava. Starting in 2006, countries in the EU, which Slovenia will join in 2004, will have to provide constant treatment of biological wastes, i.e. the construction of composting facilities in individual towns. As the investor, Lek will provide all of the funds for the composting facility in Lendava, thereby easing pressure on the Lendava municipal budget, from which the Municipality of Lendava would otherwise have to provide the necessary funds in the future. Therefore, this year Lendava will receive a modern composting facility and an environmentally friendly solution for the treatment of biological wastes which are currently being stored at the refuse dump in Dolga vas. With the construction of the composting facility, which will only be used to compost waste microbial biomass which is produced during the isolation of Lek biotech products, and slime wastes produced during wastewater treatment at the treatment center itself and during the pre-treatment process at Lek’s location in Trimlini, Lek will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 25 percent.

A broad discussion on the topic of the location and construction of the composting facility was held today within the framework of the public debate on the long-term and medium-term zoning plans of the Municipality of Lendava. As stated by Marko Podbevšek, member of the Management Board of Lek, the investor in the construction of the composting facility, the proposed site next to the LWTP is advantageous from a number of aspects. Firstly there is the environmental aspect, since the treatment of wastewater produced during the composting process will be able to be performed immediately, as will the composting of slime wastes produced during the operation of the treatment plant. The second aspect is technological: the composting process will be performed in closed tunnels. The composting facility with its related structures will cover an area of 22,500 square meters, of which the majority of the surface area of the composting facility will be comprised of 14 composting tunnels dimensions 5×5×24 meters, i.e. 600 cubic meters. In accordance with good environmental practice, it is therefore not reasonable to situate the large surface area needed for the construction of the composting facility on land zoned for industry. Furthermore, the composting process does not belong in an industrial but an agrarian environment, where there is a demand for the final product – compost.

Srečko Kokalj, the head of the project for the construction of the composting facility, stated that the composting facility would be built in compliance with Slovene environmental safety legislation and international standards in this field, while the latest technologies will be used in construction. In this way the impact of the composting facility on the environment will be minimal. Lek has sought the constant improvement of the environmental aspects throughout the procedure and has constantly invested funds to that end. With projects such as the LWTP and the composting facility, Lek has contributed to the preservation and improvement of the local environment in which it operates.

Participants in the public debate were given a short presentation of the key emphases of the environmental and social responsibility of Novartis, Lek’s Swiss owners. These are based on financially, socially and ecologically sound business practices, through which Novartis ensures the long-term success of the company, the development of the company and the preservation of a clean environment. For Lek, which already has an established environmental policy – which has been harmonized with that of Novartis – trust, respect and understanding in relations between employees, business partners, local communities and other associates represents the key to success and a precondition for cooperation and coexistence. The health and safety of employees, neighbors, customers and all those who are touched by Lek’s operations and care for the environment are the top priority in the performance of Lek’s activities. Therefore the composting facility in Lendava will be intended exclusively for the disposal of waste microbial biomass which appears during the isolation of Lek biotech products, and slime wastes which appear in the process of treating wastewater in the treatment center itself and in the pre-treatment process at the location in Trimlini. In addition to these wastes, after the construction of the collection center and the separate collection of wastes by the company Komunala Lendava d.o.o., the composting facility will also be used to compost biological wastes which are now being disposed of in large quantities at the refuse dump in Dolga vas, and active slime wastes from other treatment centers in the Pomurje region.

With the construction of the composting facility, which will also treat household wastes from the area of the Lendava Municipality, both Lek and LWTP, which treats wastewater in the Lendava area, will contribute to the preservation of the quality of the environment for the generations to come. In the creation of the partnership with the Lendava Municipality and its inhabitants, Lek passed a decision that this year like last year, LWTP will not charge the area residents for the treatment of municipal wastewater.

Additional information:
Artur Racman, General Manager of ČNL d.o.o. (Lendava Wastewater Treatment Plant)
phone: +386 (0)2 578 95 77, fax: +386 (0)2 578 95 75
e-mail: artur.racman@cnl.si