Waste management in Bucharest
Edited by: Andreea Miscodan
How can we improve waste management in Bucharest?
WHAT IS WASTE?
Wasteis goods that people consider useless and discarded. They are either transformed into raw materials for other products or destroyed. There is also the possibility of being taken over by a specialized company or to premises that may or may not have appropriate conditions.
EUROPEAN UNION STRATEGIES REGARDING WASTE
The European Union strategy for circular economy proposes a target of 55% for 2025, 60% by 2030 and 65% by 2050 waste.Thus by 2030 it would follow:
- to prohibit the intentional addition of microplastics to cosmetic products
- banning single-use plastic items (e.g. cutlery)
- the possibility of using allplastic waste
- replacing light plastic bags with nets made of recyclable materials
Regarding packaging waste,the European Union Strategy proposes different targets such as:
- Plastic packaging: 50% of the quantities produced by 2025
- Wooden packaging: 25% by 2025
- Packaging from ferrous materials: 70% by 2025
- Aluminum packaging: 50% by 2025
- Glass packaging: 70% by 2025
- Paper and cardboard packaging: 75% by 2025
WASTE MANAGEMENT IN BUCHAREST AND THEIR GROUPING
The amount of waste generateddepends a lot on the number of inhabitants and their structure by age group, sex, their standard of living. For example, on the time spent in the household, on the model of food management for the family, on the existence of pets .The annual amount of urban waste generated by the municipality of Bucharest exceeded the threshold of 1 million tons/year in 2019. Interesting developments are observed at bulky waste (for example, furniture, electronics and household appliances) and biodegradable waste collected separately.
Thus, at bulky waste there is a peak in the period 2017-2018 and an important decrease in 2019. The pandemic period imposed significant changes in the level of population consumption, in terms of dpackaging waste, at the level of the municipality of Bucharest, an obvious increase in the collected and utilized quantities is observed, with a maximum in 2017 of 107,832 tons per year.
Waste management in Bucharestis coordinated by the General Council of Bucharest and by the Local Councils of the 6 sectors:
- 1st Sector -ROMPREST SERVICE SA Company
- 2nd Sector– SUPERCOM SA
- 3rd Sector – Direcția Generală de Salubrizare Sector 3
- 4th Sector – ROSAL GRUP SA
- 5th Sector –SC SALUBRIZARE Fapte 5 SA
- 6th Sector-SC URBAN SA
Waste management in the city of Bucharest includes the collectionof household waste, its collection and transport to treatment facilities, its treatment and its disposal or recovery.
THE POSITION OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF BUCHAREST REGARDING THE POSITION OF THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY
One circular economy, economic activity contributes to the ongoing construction and reconstruction of the overall health of the system. The circular economy it also aims at the adequate management of the externalities of economic activities (waste and pollution).Bucharest municipality is very far from o circular economy and it has no prospects to reach these desired goals in the medium term.
The city of Bucharest is obviously based on a consumption economy, in which consumption is what supports a high level of well-being. Furthermore, the infrastructure for waste management is still defective.
The reduced interest of the population fora more effectivewastemanagement it was largely caused by the way sanitation firms did not invest in adequate infrastructure and provide financial support for selective collection. Only in recent years has a change in their approach been observed, although the pandemic context makes it rather difficult to outline important changes.
PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
- Large amounts of waste generated and recycled, which are disposed of through landfill
- Providing support to home owners’ associations to find the best waste management solutions
- Educating the population to reduce the consumption of waste-generating products and services.
CIVIL SOCIETY SOLUTIONS:
- The Ecoteca Association develops recycling education projects in schools and faculties
- The Seneca Ecologos Association carries out education projects to reduce the amount of waste in companies and schools,
- The Zero Waste Romania movement carries out advocacy and information and education campaigns to reduce waste generation to zero
- Inadequate management of hazardous waste generated by the population and similar activities
- Raising awareness about the management of hazardous waste produced in households and similar activities
- Low administrative capacity and lack of sector-level coordination between responsible institutions
- Support in the activation of the Intercommunity Association for Integrated Waste Management and coordination between sectors
- Pushing the responsible institutions to correctly collect and make public annual data on waste management and control of its collection.
Waste management and the transition to a circular economy are among the most important challenges that the administration of Bucharest must consider. The city will still produce waste, but the way it is managed must change.