EU launches a new project in Ukraine to help manage wastes and adjust the legislation accordingly


As a result of a competition EU selects a new project for Ukraine that will focus on several regions of Ukraine reforming the waste management systems.

Kyiv, September 22, 2016. EU launches project a new project in Ukraine – “Ukrainian civil society for European style waste management” that provides a set of measures for spreading European waste management practices in Ukraine. The project is implemented by the International Charity Organization “Environment-Law-Human” in partnership with NGO “Environmental Initiatives” supported by the European Union. It will last 3 years. “The project aims to combine efforts of national executive authorities, self- governing bodies, local authorities, legislative and executive branches of government at the highest level and make this reform real, deep and systemic,”  said Olena Kravchenko, Executive Director of “Ecology-Law-Human”, during the project presentation held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. She noted that there had been attempts to implement similar projects before, but only some of them had achieved significant results at the regional level.

The project was selected for implementation through competition. “It is one of the nine best projects from over 200 applications that we received. We hope it will give a positive result,” noted Johannes Baur, Head of Operations Section “Development related to infrastructure (energy, transport) and environment”, at the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine.

Modern technologies allow to process over 90% of waste and make a profit
Olena Kravchenko reminded that about 95 per cent of waste is simply taken to landfills in Ukraine now. There are over 6,000 of them around the country and they occupy more than 9,000 hectares of land. Additionally, as of 2015, there were over 33,000 unauthorized dumps. At the same time, leaders of intelligent waste recycle over 90 per cent of garbage. According to Johannes Baur, waste management problem remains a serious challenge for the EU, and today’s positive development was preceded by continuous work. “Most European countries have already taken a huge step in the right direction and it is important that Ukraine will join them in line with to the Association Agreement,” noted Baur. He said that the basic principle of best practices is to minimize waste and find useful application for those that cannot be avoided. The main decision is processing. “This is an opportunity to make extra profit out of garbage, because the processing “chain” will help create jobs and contribute to the development of Ukrainian industry,” said the expert.

Experts will help bring Ukrainian legislation to European standards
Citizens, local governments and authorities concerned with ecology will undergo special training in the framework of the project. “One of the components of the project is comparative assessment of Ukrainian and EU legislation to provide expert support to the Parliament and the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources in order to make necessary amendments to the legislation,” said Olha Melen-Zabramna, Head of Legal Department at the “Ecology-Law-Human”. “Amendment 30 to the Association Agreement is obligatory. It mentions at least two EU directives concerning waste management.”

The experts will participate in discussing 20 draft laws considered in the parliament, including the law on wastes, and will join the work on a national waste management strategy. The Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine has been working on it in collaboration with European experts. “This strategy will be the basis for implementing regional programs and waste management plans,” noted Maryna Shymkus, senior legal advisor, Department for Adaptation to EU legislation, Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine. Lyudmyla Poltorachenko, Deputy Head, Territory Improvement and Public Service Department of the Ministry of Regional Development, pointed out that recycling, legislative regulation of sorting and recycling, as well as de-monopolization of the recycling market and introduction of extended responsibility of producers for storing the products are the most important tasks for Parliament.

Another important task, stressed Natalia Guseva, Head of Environmental Statistics of the State Statistics Service Ukraine, is to create the Environmental Protection Agency, which is to act as a regulator and verifier of wastes. Ostap Yednak, MP (independent), Secretary of the Parliamentary Committee on Environmental Policy, Natural Resources Utilization and Elimination of the Consequences of Chornobyl Catastrophe, noted that cooperation with civil society, “will add dynamics, transparency and quality to this process.” In addition to working with the central authorities, the experts will analyze the regional waste management programs and give appropriate recommendations.

Particular attention is planned to be given to hazardous waste management, in particular, electronic and mercury-containing wastes. “We will analyze the corruption risks of the hazardous waste management permit system. This applies both to issuing permits for hazardous waste management operations and licensing system for waste utilization, transportation and recycling,” informed Oleh Hladchuk, representative of the NGO “Environmental Initiatives.” We will also estimate amounts of mercury and mercury-containing waste utilization. This information will be a good basis for Ukraine’s accession to the Minamata Convention.” “The Minamata Convention is not yet part of the European legislation, but we strongly encourage Ukraine to ratify it,” added Johannes Baur.
“The first swallows”: the recycling plant will enable Kropyvnytskyi to reduce the heating rate  one-half
Olena Kravchenko added that under the other project four regions of Ukraine have already been testing the environmental information automated system. Among them are Kirovohrad and Lviv regions. Kropyvnytskyi is taking strategic decisions based on this information. “We have decided to build a recycling plant with deep sorting, which will allow us to receive solid fuel. This fuel will be used as an energy source for thermal power plants. By this means we will solve the recycling problem in not only Kropyvnytskyi but also in the surrounding areas. The produced alternative fuel for thermal power plants will enable the service cost to be reduced significantly. We have estimated that this will reduce the heating rate in Kropyvnytskyi one-half,” informed Oleksandr Kovtunov, Head of Environment and Natural Resources Department, Kirovohrad Regional State Administration.