Serbia plans to achieve the recycling target of 50 percent of total municipal solid waste by 2030, said the state secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and environmental protection Stana Božović.
“It is necessary to expand the reach of the municipal waste collection service, especially in the rural areas. In order to achieve this local governments need to be provided with additional dumpsters and waste collection vehicles”, Božović said at the fourth conference of the Association of Serbian Waste Utility Companies (ASWA) in Aranđelovac.
According to ASWA, Serbia is currently recycling between 5 and 8 percent of municipal solid waste. The cities most active in recycling are Novi Sad and Čačak (around 10 percent), but the biggest problem is that numerous towns and municipalities do not recycle waste at all, the Association told BGEN.
At the conference Božović said that in the short term all local governments must make regional and local waste management plans, with mandatory primary waste separation in households. ASWA said they had no information about how many municipalities adopted the plans, but the ones that are being made are generic and have no practical value.
Improving the waste management system by introducing a new model for funding is also a priority for the Government of Serbia, said Božović. She pointed out that investments in municipal waste infrastructure have to be coordinated, so that Serbia can accomplish the targets from EU Directives and build a sustainable waste management system.
The state secretary emphasized the importance of the concept of “green economy” for reducing poverty, claiming that 10 percent more jobs could be created in the waste management sector.