VILNIUS - In 2010, Lithuania’s Ministry of Environment finished the distribution of 450 million litas (130 million euros) intended for development of waste sorting and recycling capacities in the regional waste management centers. A decision taken by the Minister of Environment completed a long and complicated procedure of distribution of the EU funds. Regional waste management centers submitted their applications to the Environmental Project Management Agency, specifying how the waste currently brought to the dumpsites is going to be sorted and recycled, as far back as in September. Within a couple of years capacities will be developed in ten regions that will not only solve the problem of the smell of biodegradable substances, but will also enable recovery of secondary raw materials, as well as production of energy from volumes of waste, reports recyclingportal.eu.
“The main point of the decision taken by the Ministry is to coordinate two opposite objectives. On the one hand, EU funds are assigned and used only in order that Lithuania would be capable of waste management according to the high requirements of the EU, minimizing the negative impact on the environment. On the other hand, it is important for society, especially in these times of economic hardship, that waste management does not become an excessive burden, therefore, we particularly strictly monitor the compliance with the main requirement that the waste management costs of a family do not exceed 1 percent of its average annual income,” the Minister of Environment Gediminas Kazlauskas said.
The support in the amount of 450 million litas starts the second stage of development of the waste management system. The first stage, i.e. closing of the old dumpsites, opening of new ones, is successfully coming to an end. A total of 538 million litas was assigned and used for this purpose from 2000 - 2006, and the amount assigned from the EU and the national budget for the period of 2007 - 2013 and used for closing of the remaining old dumpsites, for building of sites for collection of waste of large dimensions and composting of green waste is equal to 369 million litas.
These measures enabled compliance with the EU landfill directive: dumping of waste in the old dumpsites that do not meet the established requirements was stopped in July 2009, and during the last two years it was achieved that more than 90 percent of the population use the universal waste collection service (in 2006 it was only 60 percent).