Mrs. Tsvetanka Todorova, President of BAP attended a wide-format meeting at the Bulgarian National Assembly of which the Minister of Environment and Water Emil Dimitrov presented the MOEW policy in the Waste Management sector.
The meeting was attended by MPs from the Environment and Water Commission, the Ministry of Environment and Water and the Executive Environmental Agency, representatives of the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria, ASECOB, employers and industry organizations. They discussed the MOEW’s current measures to strengthen waste management controls and upcoming legislative initiatives in this direction.
Deputy Minister Krasimir Zhivkov made an interactive presentation of the MoEW’s overall policy in the Waste Management sector with figures and data. According to the Eco-Ministry, in 2018 each resident made 423 kg of rubbish, below the EU average. Bulgaria is growing in recycling and has reached 36% – against the European target of 55% by 2018 and 70% by 2020.
In the next programming period, up to 10% of the waste must be landfilled, 65% should be recycled and the rest should be recovered, which, according to the Minister, means incineration.
Representatives of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce, the Association of Environmentalists of Municipalities in Bulgaria (ASECOB) and the BSP Parliamentary Group also expressed doubts about the objectivity of the statistics submitted for exceeding the waste management goals.
The Earth Association rejected the minister’s argument that, beyond the mandatory minimum quotas for landfilling and recycling, waste should be sent to incineration. They referred to the 2021-2025 European circular economy policy and recalled the World Bank’s report to the Ministry of Finance, which highlighted Bulgaria’s poor track record in waste management and recommended processes for improving it.
”For Earth” and ASECOB, they also reminded of the need to reformulate the garbage tax in accordance with the “polluter pays” principle so that the tax paid would depend on the actual garbage created, rather than on the nominal area of a dwelling or commercial premises. This would have a positive effect on the motivation of citizens and the actual achievement of the recycling and waste reduction targets.
Slaveya Stoyanova – Director of the Waste Directorate at MOEW presented initiatives already underway to improve processes. Among them, to prepare documentation for alignment with the more ambitious European targets after 2020, as a project for their synchronization in the Bulgarian legislation will be presented for public discussion at the end of next month.
The participants requested a working group to formulate changes to the Waste Management Act, but parliamentary committee chairman Ivelina Vassileva promised them they would have the opportunity to submit opinions – which is also the official procedure for each bill.
Deputy Minister Krasimir Zhivkov committed last year to the BAP to be included in a working group to the MoEW on the transposition of the European directive on the restriction of the use of single-use plastic products, but so far there is no feedback from the MoEW. It is expected that by mid-year the European Commission will issue guidance on the implementation of the Directive in all Member States.