"We respond to bad air quality in the region by distribution of leaflets directly into the households. We believe that informing people how burning of unsuitable waste influences this situation, will contribute to its improvement. We offer the leaflets also to other municipalities. Some of them have already showed interest into them," said Kamil Repeš from the Arnika Association, the coordinator of the project We Heat Nature- and Neighbour-Friendly in the Ústí Region. Every day, we can hear that limits for airborne dust (PM10) are exceeded in various places of our country. However, not all people are aware that in addition to the main polluters, namely industry and car transport, local heating may be an important source of this pollution, too.
In the leaflet entitled "You Breathe What You Burn", the inhabitants will be informed, for example, how to heat their homes without unnecessarily polluting the air, or how to defend themselves against a neighbour bothering them by chimney smoke. "The heating season is well under way again, and the inhabitants will surely appreciate this information material. Probably, a majority of people are aware that burning of plastics and tyres is hazardous to health, but, maybe, few people suspect that burning of old furniture and beverage cartons is similarly hazardous," explained Kamil Repeš, and added: "Our leaflet should help people to be more informed concerning this issue. Compliance with the given advice will be appreciated also be neighbours of the citizens heating by solid fuels."
Distribution of information leaflets into letter boxes was preceded by a questionnaire investigation. Its purpose was to find in which way the inhabitants of Ludvíkovice heat their homes, and what could be improved in order that emissions from domestic heating be as low as possible. In the questionnaire, there were present also questions whether people carry out boiler maintenance and inspections regularly, and whether they burn waste, in addition to the allowed fuel. "These questions are rather personal, however, we believe that people responded truly, because the questionnaire was anonymous. On the basis of data obtained from the questionnaires and information from the municipal authority, we will assess the situation, and, in cooperation with experts in the given field, we will propose measures for the municipality that could result in reducing the municipality burden by emissions from local heating," added Repeš.
Ludvíkovice was chosen because it is a small municipality in the Ústí Region where people heat their homes predominantly by their own heating sources, and, in the heating season, the municipality wrestles just with the problems of local air pollution.
"Within the framework of the project We Heat Nature- and Neighbour-Friendly, we also created a series of information texts on risks connected with burning of waste and low-quality fuels, and on correct heating, for the municipalities. The materials may be used, for example, in municipality newsletters and web pages. Response of the municipalities was highly positive," added Vendula Krčmářová from the Arnika Association, the head of the project. In the beginning of the year, Arnika also published an animated clip "You Breathe What You Burn" that may be downloaded from Arnika's web pages.