Grasshopper no 7, Summer '95


with Mirka, Ewelina, Paweł, Maciek and Michał
from the Association "The Ecological Movement" in Jasło

Sławek Pietrasik, Green Federation - Kraków: Paweł is a chairman of the Association "Ecological Movement" in Jasło. How long has your organisation existed, what problems do you deal with and what are your goals?

PAWEŁ: The organisation started about two years ago. We try to deal with many problems emerging in Jasło. First of all we are interested in garbage sorting. We approach people individually instructing them and distributing handbills. We want people to become aware of the importance of the problem. We have our own ecological library to which anyone can come. You can find interesting books as well as video cassettes and periodicals there. The next issue is the fight with "our" local refinery, against the building of an incinerator. They wanted to build the plant in order to burn all the waste generated in the town. We managed to make them limit the combusted substances only to their own post-refining waste. Yes, you can call it an achievement. Maybe in comparison to others it is not, but we call it an achievement.

SP: I think so.

PAWEŁ: Also, we publish our own paper. Nothing big, but we put in it our news from our region. We try to inform people what we do and what we plan to do.

SP: I've heard that some people from Kraków, including Paweł Głuszyński, were involved in the anti-incinerator protest. Is that true?

PAWEŁ: Yes, they helped us a lot. They led us actually. Paweł was here and Dare Wlaźlik who is active in environmental protection in his home town, Lublin. He also was a great help.

SP: Mirka, how long have you been in the "Movement" and why did you join it?

MIRKA: I've been in the organisation for two years, that is since its very beginning. It was a matter of impulse; I saw the poster and I thoughy I must go there and that was it.

SP: What was it that you was after? Was it only adventure or were you really interested in the environmental matters?

MIRKA: I wanted new experiences, to meet some interesting people.

SP: Michał, in what ways does the "Movement" co-operate with the Town Council in Jasło and how do you assess efficiency of your organisation?

MICHAŁ: You may have observed it yourself. I noticed you were surprised. Yes, the co-operation with the Town Council works really well. Especially with the Environmental protection department whose manager is Mrs Maria Lignar. The Visible effect of our joint efforts is the fact that in Jasło garbage is sorted. Maciek can give some more details on this subject.

MACIEK: The way the co-operation between us, the Ecological Movement and the Town council, began is quite interesting. We met people from the Council when we were organising a protest against the refinery incinerator and collecting signatures our petition. They were deeply interested in the problem and we prepared further actions together. The Council sent a letter to the Ministry of Environmental Protection with an appeal to stop building of the incinerator in the Carpathian Refinery Works.

SP: Does the incinerator work at present? Or maybe it works within a limited range? Has the goal of closing down the incinerator been achieved?

MACIEK: Actually, there has always been an incinerator there in the refinery but they wanted to build a better one. Together with the Town Council and Paweł Głuszyński we suggested alternative solutions to waste management whose costs were close to those of incineration. Unfortunately, after several administrative trials we lost and the case went up to the Ministry of Environmental Protection. The incinerator exists but we managed to force them to present the results of the plant examination.

SP: I've heard that they wanted to burn some municipal waste there, which they were forbidden to do, and -as far as I know- the plant had no environmental impact assessment completed.

MACIEK: Yes. Thanks to our joint efforts the EIA has done for the incinerator. We consider it our big success. We managed to achieve a situation where only the Refinery's own waste is combusted there, no municipal and hospital waste.

SP: I have a question to Ela. You invited me to the Earth-week you have organised here. Tell me, how did it go? What did you organise and how did people of Jasło respond to it?

ELA: We organised contests, e.g. photography or essay competitions, there were also demonstations and happenings on the Jasło market square. It's hard for me to decide how people perceived the actions. I think the people got interested: lots of them were watching us. I hope that the people will join us and start doing something.

SP: I know that you collected signatures on a petition for protection of the wolf and the Białowieża Forest. What is your present situation? Is action taking place in other towns in Poland?

ELA: I don't know if they are doing it in the whole of Poland...

MACIEK: Yes, in the whole country.

ELA: So far we've managed to gather a lot of signatures. Also, we have collected money for the homeless pets shelter. We collected some, maybe it's not enough for the building of such an institution but it's something to start with. We believe we'll achieve what we plan.

SP: Are you going to repeat the Earth Week next year? If you are, will it be different from the last one?

ELA: One thing is sure, we are not going to limit its range. We will try to make it similar to the previous one, or even better. And we are not going to stay where we are but we'll develop further on.

SP: Now, a question to Ewelina. You call your organisation the Ecological Movement. What does "ecological" mean to you?

EWELINA: The word "ecological" means doing what's possible for Mother Earth.

SP: I've heard that you closely co-operate with the local radio. Can you develop the subject?

EWELINA: What you've heard is right. Lately, during Earth Week we did several interviews on the radio and so far the co-operation is very good. We have even suggested that we can appear in a ecological program...

MACIEK: We can have our own program.

EWELINA: We choose music and broadcast our news; the program will be as we plan.

SP: How long is it going to be?

EWELINA: We haven't thought about it so far, but we think that certainly no shorter than five minutes.

SP: Paweł, again. What would you say to all the guys from the Green Federation in Kraków?

PAWEŁ: First of all, we want to thank you and invite all the Greens to Jasło. Let it be another "Rainbow", the marvellous atmosphere, a "green oasis".

SP: What do you want to thank me for?

PAWEŁ: For the fact that you've come to our small town.

SP: Thanks a lot for your hospitality me. We will certainly come if you invite us next year.

Stowarzyszenie "Ruch Ekologiczny - Jasło"
("Environmental Movement - Jasło" Association)
skr. poczt. 69, 38-200 Jasło

reprinted from Zielone Brygady no. 6/95

Grasshopper no 7, Summer '95 | Contents