Waste Management in Central and Eastern Europe
2020 Obligations: A sector under severe challenge
The waste management sector in Western Europe has been subjected to enormous commercial and legal changes over the last two decades (at least), with these changes continuing to occur. The once dominant position of landfill as the activity of choice for waste management has been well and truly broken. This has been brought about by a sustained and multi-faceted legislative and policy attack on landfill, primarily from the EU but also at the domestic level.
The focus of this brochure is on Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) . CEE is enormously behind Western Europe in implementing necessary changes to its waste management sector. The problem for CEE is that it now faces more or less the same legislative targets in relation to diversion from landfill, recycling and the various producer responsibility obligations; however, as it has made little progress so far, the journey that it has to make must now be made in a shorter period of time. Indeed some CEE Member States are not only failing to divert waste from landfill, they are still operating landfills which in technical terms do not meet EU standards.
The European Commission is currently looking at the performance of CEE Member States and there is a prospect of infringement proceedings against some CEE Member States. A number of legal targets will need to be met by 2020 which is less than seven years away. This is not a great amount of time for CEE Member States to put in place the domestic policy, laws and economic instruments to effect the scale of change necessary and to procure and build the required waste management infrastructure. Clearly, the experiences gained in Western Europe could be usefully and profitably employed in CEE Member States to assist in implementing the necessary changes. It is a big ask to imagine that all the changes will be effected by 2020 but (if not actually in place by 2020) at least the CEE Member States will have to show that they have made significant movement towards those targets.
Of course with so much change required, this may provide great opportunities for investment in the waste management sector in these CEE Member States. For those who are interested in investing in the sector we hope that this paper provides an interesting brief overview of the current position. We will always be willing to assist those who are interested. Do feel free to contact us should you have any queries.
To read the brochure in full, please download the PDF.