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Minister Kęstutis Trečiokas: “We are already mediocre according to waste management in Europe”

2015-05-20

Today the Ministry of Environment has presented the results of the implementation of the State Waste Management Plan for 2014 and the tasks planned for this year.

“Waste management is an especially complicated sphere as there are many different interests interfering with each other there. However, we as environmentalists have one interest, which is a state interest,” said Minister of Environment, Kęstutis Trečiokas, who opened the event. According to him, Lithuania is already mediocre rather than lagging behind, compared to other European states. Although Lithuania is still among the top ten states that dispose of the largest volumes of waste in landfills, it has already reached the European average according to recycling.

For example, Lithuania landfills much more waste (64 pct.) than Estonia (16 pct.), but less than Latvia (83 pct.). Our country recycles more waste (21 pct.) than Estonia (14 pct.) and Latvia (11 pct.), and also composts more waste (8 pct.) compared to Estonia and Latvia (6 pct.). We incinerate considerably less waste (7 pct.) than do Estonians (64 pct.), but we are ahead of Latvia which incinerates no waste at all.

A big step forward will be made after completing the development of a national waste management system. The period 2014 to 2020 is the final phase for organising it. The tasks for these seven years are outlined in the State Waste Plan for 2014-2020. Dalius Krinickas, Director of the Waste Department of the Ministry of Environment, presented the progress of implementation of this plan in 2014 and the assignments for this year to the large audience of the event, including representatives of state and municipal institutions, producers and importers, organisations of waste managers, businesses and the academic community.

Among the more important measures implemented in 2014 were the imposition of a ban to dispose of sewage sludge in landfills, the commencement of the development of the deposit system for disposable packaging, the commissioning of a waste incineration installation by Toksika UAB, etc. Municipalities used the funds from the Product or Packaging Waste Programme to purchase more than 58,000 packaging waste containers, and managed 1000 tonnes of orphan waste tyres. They will spend additional subsidies on the acquisition of 126,217 containers for collecting packaging waste from individual houses, and the management of 2,400 t of waste tyres. The amount allocated for these projects totals about 4.5 million euros.

The year 2015 will be equally busy. The plan provides for a review of the defined packaging waste management tasks, initiation of laws necessary for regulating the pricing of waste used for energy production, completion of construction of mechanical biological treatment plants, preparation of a procedure for small-scale composting, assessment of the effectiveness of state support to waste management, etc.

During the discussions, the participants expressed their opinions on problems in the waste management sector and proposed ways for solving them.

Public Information Division
20/05/2015

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas