Romania currently has to address 10 infringement procedures on environmental issues, mostly related to waste management, Minister of Environment Gratiela Gavrilescu on Monday told private TV broadcaster Antena 3.
“It’s been just a few days since I took office [at the Ministry of Environment]. In my previous term in 2014, we had 29 infringement measures against Romania to handle. Of these, at office handover in December 2015, no less than 19 infringement procedures had been settled. Now we still have 10, mostly related to waste, and my role both as a minister and as a Ministry of Environment and Government employee, is to make sure that by 2020 we have an as high as possible recycling percentage. In 2050 we must produce zero waste. I asked the Environment Fund Administration to present everything that means waste management programs, beginning with population awareness to selective collection methods, programs for mayoralties to access, so that we be able to reduce landfill waste to the maximum,” said Gavrilescu.
The EnviMin also said that a differentiated fee, as well as financial incentives are needed for the Romanians who collect waste selectively.
According to the National Environment Guard the waste disposal is currently halted at all the 101 non-compliant landfills, for which the European Commission has sent Romania to court.
The European Commission decided on February 15 to bring Romania before the Court of Justice of the EU for failure of the authorities to close 68 non-compliant municipal waste landfills that pose a serious risk to human health and environment.
Over time, the Ministry of Environment has showed that the responsibility for closing the waste landfills entirely falls on the local authorities and the sanctions that may be ordered by Brussels will be borne by the local budgets.
Romania has been given the end of 2017 as deadline to close 101 non-compliant landfills. The EU deadlines provided for the gradual closure of non-compliant waste landfills have been scheduled every July 16 of each year until 2017.