On the way to the European Union and in the introduction of its standards, Serbia must improve recycling and advance the use of waste as an industrial resource, according to participants at a panel titled ‘A New Chapter in Hazardous Waste Management in Serbia’, which was organized in Novi Sad by company Miteco Kneževac d.o.o. and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) World Congress ISWA2016.
Serbia must also tackle historical waste and pollution, experts said and added 100,000 tonnes are produced every year in the country. They reminded the deadline is 2019 for the state to harmonize legislation with the EU in waste management, while that it should include capacity building and improving environmental protection infrastructure.
Cooperation between public and private sectors creates the environment for new investments in waste management, according to speakers at the panel.
Jean-Paul Leglise, chairman of ISWA’s hazardous waste working group, announced a specialized manual for the field, being created in association with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). It will be interactive and available online, he said.
“The idea is for all interested parties to get involved in this process with comments and suggestions, so that we can enhance hazardous waste management and create a manual that will be broadly applied in the industry,” said Leglise.
Recycling of electronic waste is not only a matter of environmental protection, but rather an important economic issue, said Stefan Salhofer, professor at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna.
That field opens up possibilities for new jobs and contributes to economic development, which is why every country needs a quality recycling system, he pointed out.
Speaking about the current review of EU legislation in waste management, experts underscored achieving sustainable development with the use of resources in an environmentally acceptable way was a global challenge in the industry.
For that to be achieved, waste market needs to be enhanced, said Peter Hodecek, representative of the European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services (FEAD). He added efficient operation in the EU would save EUR 72 billion per year, increase annual turnover from waste management and recycling to EUR 42 billion and create conditions for more than 400,000 new jobs by 2020.
Miteco’s director Nevena Čolić Mohora said ISWA’s congress in Serbia is an opportunity for the public to become acquainted with global trends in waste management and sustainable development.
The event is a platform for the exchange of opinions on how to establish a circular economy system, and about what the prerequisites and obstacles are on that path, she told Balkan Green Energy News.
According to her, the focus is on the need to open a new chapter in waste management in Serbia, with the dynamic, roles and funds required for the demanding task.