Study on waste prevention strategies in the Cross-Border Region

26/07/2019

The main object of the project is the promotion of waste prevention and recycling at the cross-border area.

For this purpose, a study for the development of waste prevention strategies in the Cross-Border region was carried out, with scope to transfer experience from Greek to Albanian side on waste prevention. Below there are some results of this study:

In Western Macedonia region, an integrated waste management system has been in place and the Waste management authority (DIADYMA SA) strives to meet EU standards. More specially, the system regards all phases of management including: the mechanical collection, transferring of the waste, land filling, recovery and recycling, the management of special waste streams such as bulky, infectious hospital, toxic and hazardous etc., the optimal use of environmental policy as defined within the legal framework, the minimization of environmental impact and  the maximization of economy and efficiency of the system. The Greek National Waste Prevention Strategic Plan, which was finalized in December 2014, has been compiled to implement Law 4042/2012 with the aim of promoting sustainable consumption and the reuse of products, as well as raising awareness in relation to waste prevention. The waste prevention initiatives aiming at supporting the local authorities in the actions to be undertaken for waste prevention. Also focuses on public awareness and aims at strengthening the existing actions mentioned above especially with regard to informing the public and encouraging their participation.

Waste management in Albania is generally at a low level. The collection of municipal solid waste is provided in most cities and towns but rarely in rural areas. The waste is mainly disposed of at municipal dumpsites. There are some managed landfill sites at Sharra, Bushat, Bajkaj, Maliq and Elbasan. The national waste management plan aims to minimize the impact of waste on the environment and improve the efficiency of resource use in Albania. No waste prevention programmes have been established yet.

Waste management has become increasingly sophisticated, as separate collection and recycling facilities have become commonplace and landfill and incineration standards have become more rigorous. The link between economic growth and waste generation is beginning to weaken in the EU. Decoupling economic growth from the environmental impacts associated with waste generation is a key objective of the EU’s revised Waste Framework Directive (Directive2008/98/EC). Waste prevention encompasses a range of policy options and has a broad range of benefits. Targeting at-source waste production, it reduces the amount and toxicity of waste before recycling, composting, energy recovery and landfilling become options.

There are three broad categories on waste prevention strategies, implying different levels of involvement by public authorities:

information (aims to change behavior and make informed decisions)

promotion (incentivising behavioural change and providing financial and logistical support for beneficial initiatives)

regulation (enforcing limits on waste generation, eaxpanding environmental obligations and imposing environmental criteria on public contracts)