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October 25, 2021

Chairman of the Romanian Biomass and Biogas Association : Ninety-seven percent of household waste ends up in landfills, fines could reach EUR 500,000 per day

As many as 97 percentage of Romania’s household waste ends up in landfills, and Romania could be fined starting in 2020 about EUR 500,000 per day if it fails to bring the numbers to below 50 percent, Chairman of the Romanian Biomass and Biogas Association (ARBIO), Ilias Papageorgiadis (photo) in told a specialist conference on Tuesday.

“In Europe, 63 percent of the renewable energy comes from biomass and biogas products. About half a million people are working in this sector. We have a major problem in Romania these days as unfortunately not everybody realised how serious and urgent this is. By 2020, if nothing is done, we’ll start to pay huge fines. Why? Because 97 percent of our household waste hits the landfill. The European Commission says that this should be under 50 percent. Therefore, fines are about EUR 500,000 per day,” said Papageorgiadis.

According to him, a lot of ideas has emerged in the public space, but this doesn’t solve the matter.

“So far, we’ve heard and listened to many beautiful ideas, initiatives from the NGOs, from officials, from the private or public sectors, and yet we have not heard ideas to solve the fundamental issue. They do not solve the matter once and for all and do not observe the European waste management directives. Our solution is the only one that solves fundamentally the waste problem in Romania. It is about the Bioenergy Law [currently under parliamentary debate]. We are suggesting a scheme under which the money we would have to pay in three years’ worth of fines now, we would use to finance a closed scheme. Some 40 percent of the money would be strictly reserved for projects addressing household waste countrywide,” the ARBIO official said.

He added that he has identified 25 counties that produce 80 percent of the country’s household waste.

“When talking about household waste we don’t talk about waste in general. We talk about selected waste which biodegradable composition should ideally not be heat treated. This is what has happened in all Europe, it is not us inventing the wheel. The impact will be more than just avoiding the fines, as we’ll also get rid of our waste for good,” Papageorgiadis concluded.

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