December 30, 2017

Ukrainian National Waste Management Strategy until 2030 approved

On 8 November 2017, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved the Ukrainian National Waste Management Strategy until 2030. It is intended to establish regional waste disposal centres. The Ukrainian local self-government authorities are also obliged to set up a network of reuse sites for some goods, e.g. home appliances, furniture, clothing.

The priority for the agricultural waste treatment should be the conversion of waste into energy, feed and other resources. All this requires extensive technological modernization.

The strategy envisages introducing circular economy principles and extending manufacturer’s liability to encourage the businesses to minimise and recycle waste, as well as the establishment of the 5-step waste hierarchy, introduced in the European Union. First of all, this means waste prevention and only in some cases – waste disposal.

The high level of waste generation and low rates of its use as secondary raw materials have led to the situation where significant volumes of solid waste from the industrial and municipal sectors accumulate in Ukraine yearly, and only a small part of waste is used as secondary raw materials, the rest ends up in landfills.

Compared to other developed countries, the waste situation difference in Ukraine consists in the large volumes of waste generation and lack of infrastructure for waste handling.

In general, the waste management system in Ukraine is defined by the following trends:

  • accumulation of waste both in the industrial and domestic sectors, having an adverse effect on the environment and human health;
  • improper treatment and disposal of hazardous waste;
  • storing household waste without taking into account possible hazardous consequences;
  • improper use of waste as secondary raw materials.

Solving this problem is crucial for energy and resource independence of the country, saving natural material and energy resources.

The strategy defines the main directions of state regulation in the field of waste management for the coming decades, taking into account the European approaches to the waste management, laid down in the following Directives:

  • Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 on waste, repealing certain Directives;
  • Directive 1999/31/EC of 26 April 1999 on the landfill of waste;
  • Directive 2006/21/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 on the management of waste from extractive industries, amending Directive 2004/35/EC;
  • Directive 94/62/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 1994 on packaging and packaging waste;
  • Directive 2012/19/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE);
  • Directive 2006/66/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 September 2006 on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators.
Household and industrial waste

In 2016, the volume of solid waste generation in Ukraine amounted to 49 million cubic meters or approx. 11 million tons (excluding the temporarily occupied territories, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol). Despite the fact that the population of Ukraine has been steadily declining over the last 20 years, the volume of domestic waste generation is increasing.

The waste generation average rate in Ukraine is 250-300 kilograms per person annually and has a tendency to increase.

The prevailing method of household waste treatment is its removal and disposal in landfills and dumping grounds. In 2016, only 5.8 percent of the generated household waste was recycled: 2.71 percent (1.3 million cubic meters) of waste was incinerated, 3.09 percent (1.53 million cubic meters) of waste was sent to other waste recycling stations and about 0.003 percent (2000 cubic meters) was composted. The rest (about 94 percent) is located in landfills and dumps. As of 2016, there were 5,470 landfills and dumps in Ukraine, of which 305 (5.6 percent) are overloaded and 1,646 (30 percent) do not meet environmental safety standards. According to expert estimates, over 99 percent of the operating landfills do not comply with the European standards (Directive 1999/31/EC of 26 April 1999 on the landfill of waste).

Thus, modern methods of domestic waste management in Ukraine:

  • are aimed at landfilling, waste placement in landfills and/or natural landfills, most of which do not meet the environmental safety requirements;
  • have a low technological level;
  • are limited by approaches to integrated management decisions and by financial resources;
  • have a low level of innovative technologies implementation.

The annual amount of industrial waste generation is 419.2 million tons, and the amount of accumulation in specially designated areas or facilities is 13.27 billion tons, which is considerably less than in previous reports.

Hazardous waste

At the moment, the number of hazardous waste types and volumes have increased significantly due to waste electrical and electronic equipment, batteries and accumulators, chlorine-containing polymers, steroid and biological chemical plant protection products, growth stimulants, preservatives, food additives, etc.

The total volume of hazardous waste accumulation is 5 billion tons, and the current costs of its disposal and storage amount to approx. UAH 600 million.

A special group of hazardous waste includes obsolete and prohibited for use chemical plant protection products. According to the official data, their balance at the beginning of 2017 was about 8.5 thousand tons.

In terms of generation volumes, there prevail hazardous wastes, containing heavy metals (chrome, lead, nickel, cadmium, mercury).

In Ukraine, there are about 300 hazardous waste storage facilities, built without proper technical protection, having become a source of environmental hazards of regional importance. There are only a few undertakings, having equipped storage facilities for storing, disposing of and regenerating hazardous waste.

Agricultural waste

The agricultural production intensification and the agricultural land expansion have resulted in an increase in the amount of waste and its impact on the environment.

Traditionally, agricultural waste in Ukraine is divided into livestock waste, crop residue and agrochemical waste.

According to statistical surveys data, the most massive types of agricultural waste generated in 2015 (over 13.5 million tons in total) include:

  • waste of vegetable origin (7742 thousand tons, or 57 percent);
  • animal excrements, urea and manure (4938 thousand tons, or 37 percent);
  • waste of animal origin and mixed food waste (897 thousand tons, or 6 percent).

However, statistics does not accurately reflect the current situation. For example, where the gross grain yield is 50 million tons, there may be generated up to 25 million tons of straw. In case of an increase in the gross grain yield up to 80 million tons, the volume of straw grows up to 40 million tons, respectively.

Another source of agricultural waste generation is livestock and poultry farming, where the main type of agricultural waste is manure. Total livestock population in Ukraine is about 13 million heads. If on average one animal produces 10 kilograms of manure per day, up to 50 million tons of manure can be produced in a year. 1.5 million hens produce over 100 tons of chicken manure per day. About 500 thousand tons of poultry manure is annually produced in Ukraine. In addition, there is also waste from poultry slaughter and mortality. According to the regulations, the mortality may be 3.5 percent of the total number per year, which – in case the average bird weight is 500 grams – is 3,570 tons of biological waste, without taking into account the biological waste, generated during slaughter of poultry.

Another urgent issue is handling chemical plant protection products, which include pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, chemical and biological plant growth stimulants.

A separate group of waste chemical plant protection products is formed by obsolete and forbidden for use pesticides, manufactured and accumulated in the times of the USSR.

At the same time, the waste chemical plant protection products inventory results do not allow to estimate their amount thoroughly. However, preliminary results show that the accumulation of obsolete chemical plant protection products may reach 8.5 thousand tons.

Specific types of waste

The current situation in Ukraine with packaging waste management is unsatisfactory, particularly in terms of ensuring waste collection, recycling and utilization, as well as return into economic circulation.

In 2016, about 5.76 percent of household waste was recycled and disposed of: 2.72 percent was incinerated and only 3 percent was sent to recycling facilities as secondary raw materials; the remaining household waste ended up in landfills.

The lack of an efficient packaging waste collection system results in losing significant resource potential for the processing industry in the form of waste paper and cardboard from 0.5 to 0.6 million tons, glass – 1 million tons, polymers – 0.6 million tons every year.

General measures provided by the Ukrainian Waste Management Strategy shall be implemented in three phases: a short-term (2017-2018), medium-term (2017-2018) and long-term one (2026-2030). In the short-term phase, it is intended to draft a framework law on waste and secondary raw materials and legislation on waste disposal, waste incineration and treatment of certain types of waste, etc., to develop technical regulations for waste treatment and to draft legislation on the segregation of all waste types (without exceptions) and recycling thereof, etc.

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