On November 8, the government approved the National Waste Management Strategy by 2030. Ukraine’s main priority is to prevent generation of waste through re-use, material processing or energy utilization. If none of the above options is appropriate, the disposal of waste in landfills should comply with environmental standards, said Oleksandr Semenetz, Deputy Director of the Department – Head of the Department of Ecological Safety and Waste of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine, at a discussion at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
Official statistics show that Ukraine produces up to 10 tons of waste per capita annually. About 4.5 million tons of pollutants are released every year. The total amount of accumulated waste is over 12.5 billion tons, and the number of official landfills in the territory of Ukraine is no more than 30,000. Such data were presented by Hlib Strygunenko, Head of the Committee for Cooperation with the EU in selected sectors of the economy of the Government Office for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration. He is convinced that the Association Agreement with the EU should be a guideline for Ukrainian reforms and an incentive for the formation of environmental policy on the basis of modern principles, including openness of data, online statistics and priority of environmental aspects in various sectors of the economy. “Public access to environmental information at the national and regional levels is a guarantee that consideration will be given to programs and projects that have an impact on the environment and human health,” said Hlib Strygunenko.
According to the WHO, Ukraine ranks 4th in mortality due to the disease and the impact of hazardous toxic substances: about 1,260 Ukrainians die annually. Although 1,100 varieties of pesticides are permitted in agriculture, none of them is monitored by the state. The State Ecological Inspectorate has no laboratories to carry out inspections,” informed Alla Voitsikhovska, ecologist of the NGO “Ecology – Law – Man.””It is very important that both the waste management strategy and the national plan are implemented. Energy companies, especially coal companies, should realize that private business should invest not only in expanding production, but also in social and environmental protection as well as in human health,” emphasized Hlib Strygunenko.
European partners support not only the development of the ecological industry but also the transport industry of Ukraine. The World Bank experts are working in Ukravtodor. They are involved in implementing intelligent transport systems. These systems affect both traffic safety and the environment. The first changes in the transport system of Ukraine include the introduction of automatic weight control of trucks. Yevhen Katkov, Head of E-Government Department of Support Team for the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, informed that under the current legislation, the maximum weight of a truck should not exceed 40 tons. Currently, many trucks carry loads of up to 100 tons. As a result of such overload, the repaired roads are damaged one to two years after the repair work. At present, Ukrtransbezbezka purchased 78 mobile complexes to check the weight of trucks. The project of such inspections is pilot so far.
Another problem of the transport industry in Ukraine is the high road traffic accidents, mortality and injury rates. Every day about 10 people die as a result of road traffic accidents in Ukraine. Over the past five years, these indicators remain stable, said Taras Huk, lawyer, expert of public organization “LEAD office.”
In the summer of 2017, the government approved the Strategy for Enhancing the Level of Road Safety in Ukraine for the period up to 2020. This document is based on the experience of the World Bank. The main objective of the Strategy is to reduce the deaths from traffic accidents by 30%. “We appreciate the support of the European Commission and what they do for their part to bring the development of the transport system of Ukraine closer to international standards,” Hlib Strygunenko summed up.