A new approach to waste management

Albania launches a new strategy for integrated waste management, in line with EU targets.

March 29, 2018 | By Eneida Haska

Under the auspices of Minister of Tourism and Environment H.E. Blendi Klosi, the REC Albania team and its partners have developed a new integrated waste management strategy for Albania for the period 2018 to 2033. The document sets out a comprehensive approach to reforming the waste management system in Albania in order to reflect the EU vision for a circular economy and adapt local capacities to meet this key objective.

The strategy was developed under the expert leadership of REC Albania and was presented for wide consultation in national and international forums, with the participation of high-level national authorities, agencies and partners made possible by the German Development Cooperation.

While its human and financial resources remain very limited, in the context of opening EU accession negotiations Albania is pledging in the next 15 years to achieve the 60 percent recovery and 50 percent recycling of packaging waste, reduce the amount of biowaste by 70 percent, and recover and recycle no less than 70 percent of all other types of municipal waste, leading to improved soil, water and air protection.

Albania has only 68 percent coverage with waste collection services, and generates around 1.2 million tonnes of waste per year. Appropriate treatment remains at a low level, and waste is often dumped at unregulated sites. Although there is a sanitary landfill and a waste-to-energy facility, they are currently operating with limited capacities.

The new strategy will create the proper institutional framework to support the management of hazardous waste, which is currently the weakest and most challenging area of waste management, requiring huge financial resources.

Strategy implementation will require significant efforts on the part of both national and local authorities and will be possible only with the active participation of Albanian citizens and the business sector. With the existing high level of interest on the part of recycling companies, and the infrastructure already installed for most waste streams, the strategy will guide Albania on a clear path towards better waste management.

The strategy has been handed over to the Albanian Government for the final stage before adoption.

TAGS: waste | waste management | Albania | EU accession | recycling