ENVIRONMENT

EnviMin Gavrilescu: Waste recycling rate is no more than 5pct in Romania, a deplorable state

Romania is in a deplorable state of affairs as far as waste management is concerned, as waste recycling is no more than 5 percent, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment Gratiela Gavrilescu told a specialist forum on Tuesday.

“Romania finds itself in a situation where it should not have been, had it done its homework from the beginning in a chronological order, and had we, Romanians, respected the laws that Parliament voted on. We have to think about how to make each of us responsible. The main objective we all have to undertake is to take care of the health of the population, the environment we live in and the resources we have. All of these factors lead us to one thought – that we must recycle, and that the recycling industry in Romania has to flourish. The priorities of the Environmental Ministry have to be the priorities of all of us. We are in a deplorable state of affairs, as waste recycling in Romania is less than 5 percent that is reality. We have to tackle the problem head-on and solve it. Whether we want to collect selectively or by category of waste, the waste has to be collected in one place by the waste collectors and dumped at the landfills. The Ministry of the Environment will develop a clear waste collection procedure. Most of the waste storage facilities in Romania are noncompliant and that is why there is an infringement case opened against Romania at the European Court of Justice. If we cannot now close these noncompliant municipal stages, we will have a budget footprint on each of the citizen’s pockets,” said Gavrilescu.

She added that with the solving of environmental problems and the implementation of the European project called “Circular Economy,” Romania will also solve another social problem by creating new jobs.

“The European Commission has launched the Circular Economy Strategy. We solve a social problem as well by dealing with our problems. I can say that 10,000 tonnes of waste dumped at the landfills means six new jobs, and 10,000 tonnes of recycled waste means 16 new jobs. If by 2030 we manage to implement the Circular Economy Strategy, we will be able to create 180,000 new jobs,” said Gavrilescu.

On April 27, 2017, the European Commission was taking Romania to the Court of Justice of the EU for failing to review and adopt its national waste management plan and waste prevention programme, in line with the objectives of EU Waste Framework Directive (Directive 2008/98/EC) and the circular economy.

Circular economy and municipal waste management in Romania were the main subjects of a forum in Bucharest on Tuesday called “Waste – From Losses to Resources. Objectives for Romania.”

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