The waste management plan will allow citizens to recycle more and will prevent significant increase in the cost of waste collection

Published: 29.06.2016. 13:44 Updated: 04.07.2016. 14:09

„The waste management plan we are working on is an opportunity for Croatia to finally acquire a waste management system that will enable us to meet all undertaken commitments and avoid payment of penalties. The previously envisaged system based on large waste management centres does not allow this and brings about multiple increase of the waste collection bills for the public. The significant increase in the price of waste collection can be avoided only through strengthening of separate collection of waste which is the focus of this Plan“– stressed assistant minister Lidija Runko Luttenberger during the public display of the draft 2016-2022 Waste Management Plan held today at the premises of the Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection.

Assistant minister emphasised that the Ministry was recently exposed to pressures from certain interest groups acting in their own particular interests at the expense of the citizens. On the other hand, when the Plan was presented in the field, representatives of local self-government units, utility companies and the public expressed their support for the Plan. This month the Ministry organised presentations of the Plan at six public discussions in Čakovec, Sisak, Opatija, Osijek, Slavonski Brod and Split at which the Plan was presented to mayors and municipality mayors who are crucial for the establishment of an efficient waste management system.

The main determinant of the Plan is the strengthening of the segment of separate waste collection through a greater number of recycling centres and decentralisation. Only in this way can significant increase in the price of waste collection for citizens be prevented, while at the same time the set recycling targets can be met. We would like to point out that by 2020 Croatia has to separately collect 50% of paper, glass, metal and plastic.

The previously planned but not realised waste management centres have been adapted to the new situation in such a way that their capacity for treatment of mixed municipal waste was reduced. This will in the long run result in lower operational costs for those centres which is in the interest of all. At the same time a major opportunity is created for a significantly greater involvement of the national industry in the establishment of the system, while the functioning of the system itself will generate a great number of green jobs. Only in recycling yards, sorting plants and reuse centres there exists a potential for several thousand new vacancies.

Furthermore, the Plan has to be adopted so that we can start utilising 475 million Euro for environmental protection projects as soon as possible. With these funds the planned recycling centres will be co-finances along with the previously envisaged waste management centres. Croatia could have started utilising those funds much earlier, but it did not. Namely, the previous Government failed to adopt the Waste Management Plan which is a pre-condition for utilising EU funds and due to this in September 2015 Croatia received a caution from the EC. The deadline for the adoption of that Plan was 31 December 2014.