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Waste

Slovenia to build three mixed waste incinerators, solve sludge issue

Slovenia three mixed waste incinerators sludge

Photo: Dani Argandona on Unsplash

Published

June 11, 2021

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Published:

June 11, 2021

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Unsorted municipal waste in Slovenia could be burnt entirely from 2023, as Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning Andrej Vizjak says the government would determine concession areas and help municipalities build three more incinerators. He added a system would be developed for the thermal treatment of municipal sludge.

All reasonable states incinerate mixed municipal waste in appropriate facilities, Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning Andrej Vizjak told state-controlled news agency STA. Authorities in the capital city of Ljubljana and in Maribor and Kočevje expressed interest in installing such systems, the article adds.

Slovenia has only one incinerator for municipal waste

The government will draw up concession areas and financially help municipalities with the construction of incinerators in Slovenia through concessions, Vizjak explained. The only facility that burns only waste is the heating plant in Celje, the country’s third-largest city. It produces electricity and heat for the district heating system. Five other plants add a share of waste to other fuels.

The Regional Centre for Waste Treatment and Recovery (RCERO) in Ljubljana produces heat and electricity by burning gas obtained through anaerobic fermentation.

Vizjak claimed the construction of the waste incinerators in Slovenia could start early next year and that they would be finished by the end of 2023. Slovenia will be divided into four regions for the units to cover and the municipalities already reached an agreement, he said and added the project yet needs to be developed in the technical sense.

Nowhere to send municipal sludge

The minister revealed the plan after 200 tons of waste sludge were illegally dumped in Pivola in the municipality of Hoče-Slivnica and severely polluted a creek. Vizjak noted that Hungary, where Slovenia was shipping most of the material generated on its territory, banned the imports in 2019.

Slovenia earmarked EUR 7 million for the treatment of sludge from the sewer and septic tanks

The ministry believes sludge from the sewer and septic tanks should be dried locally and sent for incineration in regional centers, he stressed. Vizjak pointed out that EUR 1 million from the country’s climate change fund was earmarked for the purpose for this year and that a total of EUR 6 million would be spent in the following two years.

Sludge can be incinerated after phosphorus is removed and it can be a source of electricity and heat, the minister said.

Večer reported that the illegally dumped waste came from the Ptuj municipal utility, while the firm said it handed the sludge to its contractor CEP from Celje, which denied any wrongdoing.

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