City of Zagreb presents new waste management system

zagreb waste management tomasevic jakusevec

Photo: Grad Zagreb


January 19, 2024



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January 19, 2024



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The City of Zagreb intends to build a waste management center in its Resnik district to solve the Jakuševec landfill issue and overhaul the municipal waste management system. NGO Zelena akcija welcomed the intention to finally close Jakuševec, but also expressed the belief it is not a good solution to produce solid fuel from waste, to be burned.

Mayor of Zagreb Tomislav Tomašević has presented a feasibility study for a waste management center in Resnik in the city’s east. It will, in his words, enable the city to process mixed municipal waste, biowaste separated in households and dry recyclables such as paper, plastics and metal under modern standards and without endangering the health and quality of life of the residents of Resnik

The center would include a facility for the mechanical and biological treatment (MBT) of mixed waste and units for sorting and composting. The start of the operation is planned for 2028.

The total investment for each of the three proposed technological solutions ranges from EUR 137 million to EUR 146 million, the study reads.

The MBT facility will produce compost, refuse-derived fuel (RDF) and solid recovered fuel (SRF) from waste, and recycled paper, cardboard, plastics and metals.

Tomašević: It is a completely closed facility without unpleasant smells or harmful emissions

“As I already said, Zagreb will not wait for anyone anymore. According to the study, by 2028, Zagreb can build and put into operation a new-generation MBT unit, similar to the ones already being built in other counties of Croatia,” Tomašević said.

The MBT unit is, in his words, a completely closed facility, without unpleasant smells or harmful emissions, that uses the best available technologies in the EU.

The summary of the study was sent to the local parliament, which scheduled the discussion for January 25. Tomašević said the Zagreb City Assembly should participate in making a decision that was long due, but that no one had the courage to do it.

Zagreb is asking for help from the Zagreb County to close the Jakuševec landfill as soon as possible

It is clear that the Jakuševec landfill must be closed as soon as possible, he underscored. Tomašević revealed his administration has offered the Zagreb County to take over mixed municipal waste from Croatia’s capital city for the next four years, and that in return it would cover the cost of financing the facility in Resnik. After it is built, and through its lifespan of at least 30 years, the city would accept mixed municipal waste from the county, he added. It doesn’t include Zagreb.

Zagreb County, which doesn’t include Zagreb, initially responded that the data in the National Waste Management Plan of the Republic of Croatia for 2023-2028 are not correct. The Government of Croatia adopted it just seven months ago.

According to data from the plan, there was around 1.67 million tons of disposal capacity on county territory, but its administration claimed the volume is at least ten times smaller, Tomašević said.

Zelena akcija: The arguments are invalid and incorrect and aimed at concealing the business interest in building incinerators

Environmental organization Zelena akcija – Friends of the Earth Croatia demanded that the City of Zagreb considers adding a sorting facility for mixed waste, arguing it would avoid incineration.

By only offering options that include the preparation of mixed waste for incineration, the company Ekonerg, which produced the study, offers bad alternatives that the city must not fall for, the nongovernmental organization said.

Invalid and incorrect arguments are intended to conceal the business interest in building incinerators, it added.

Fuel from waste would be burned in incinerators, cement plants, thermal power plants or other energy facilities

Zelena akcija is against the construction of an MBO facility that would prepare waste for burning in incinerators, cement plants, thermal power plants or other energy facilities.

Any type of waste incineration significantly damages the environment and health, which has been proven in numerous examples in Croatia and abroad, such as cement plants in Koromačno in Istria, Lukavac in BiH and Beočin in Serbia and incinerators in Spain and the Czech Republic, the organization stressed.

The solution is in high-efficiency facilities for sorting mixed waste, which extract more than 70% of the raw materials for recycling

It argued that the solution for mixed waste should be based on the best available technologies applied in the European Union.

Zelena akcija said high-efficiency facilities for sorting mixed waste extract more than 70% of the raw materials for recycling. The rest is neutralized and used in the construction industry, for instance, while very small quantities are safely landfilled as biologically inactive material, it stressed.

It’s a true circular economy, unlike waste incineration, which is expensive and harmful to the environment and health, the NGO said.

Mayor Tomislav Tomašević didn’t want to comment on the claims presented by Zelena akcija.

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