Waste theft undermines selective recycling in Romania

The efficiency of selective recycling in Romania is undermined by the theft of waste from the special bins, which are also often vandalized, according to Eco-Rom Ambalaje, quoted by Wall-Street.ro.

The company recycled 40,000 tonnes of packaging in 2013, a growth of only 2 percent on 2012. meanwhile, investments in the waste segment, mainly in special bins, went up by 20 percent, to some EUR 1.9 million. The most frequently stolen waste is PETs and aluminum cans, which can be  re-sold.

So far, 464 localities in Romania benefit from selective recycling systems, which gives access to 9 million Romanians to these free services.

Almost all of Romania’s waste ends up in landfill, with the country displaying the worst record of recycling in Europe.

Romania generates 389 kg of municipal waste per person, while 313 kg of municipal waste is treated per person.

Figures from Eurostat show that 99 percent of waste treated is put into landfills, with only 1 percent recycled and composted, making the country the worst in this regard in Europe.

Romanian authorities may have to make selective waste collection mandatory as of 2016, according to a recent emergency ordinance draft.

Trying to mirror EU legislation regarding selective waste collection, Romanian authorities would thus be required to provide the conditions to separately collect plastic, metal, paper and glass.

Initially the deadline to comply with EU waste collection regulations was 2012, but it was pushed to no later than end of 2015.

Despite the existence of some selective waste collection bins across major Romanian cities, only 12 percent of household waste is selectively recycled. The percentage was up from 1 percent in 2009, but selective recycling is still far from gaining a foothold in the Romanian society.

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