How much money lies under the feet of Ukrainians and who is responsible for this.

Muddle in the garbage

Ukraine is drowning in garbage. 95% of solid household waste (MSW) in the country are sent to landfills. Half of them work illegally. The waste management system in Ukraine has been in decline for many years.

There are many reasons for this: low priority of this problem at the state level, inaction of local authorities, which are obliged to organize collection and utilization of garbage, as well as low tariffs for the population that do not cover the costs of civilized waste handling – the funds are sufficient only for their transportation to the burial site .

To realize the importance of the problem of solid waste and the danger that lies in landfills and landfills, it is enough to imagine a freight train of 650,000 wagons filled with garbage. And this is only registered and authorized waste collected only in 2015: more than 11 million tons. The system for collecting household waste covers only 78% of the population, which means that the real volume is 15-25% more.

Dumps are overloaded, and 1339 dumps (24% of the total amount) do not comply with the norms of environmental safety.

Garbage dumps need reclamation. In fact, only 86 are reclaimed from them.

It is necessary to build new landfills for Ukraine, according to the estimates of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources.

Where does the garbage go?
How much waste can Ukraine recycle

According to the forecasts of international environmental organizations, by 2025, Ukraine will accumulate 17 million tons of waste.

The Ministry of Ecology says that thanks to the introduction of separate waste collection in 575 localities, 22 sorting lines, 1 incineration plant and 3 incineration plants managed to recycle and utilize about 5.76% of household waste. Of these, 2.72% were burnt, another 3.04% of the waste came to the procuring points for recycling and processing.

The business claims that there are far fewer projects for separate collection of garbage in the country. They are only in three or five small towns.

According to the Statistical Service of the European Union (Eurostat), only 4-6% of all Ukrainian waste is sorted for reprocessing. In the EU countries, this figure reaches 39%. At the same time, Ukrainians pay 26-37 cents a month for garbage disposal. That is, the monthly bill for a family of four does not exceed $ 1.

However, the indicator of separate waste collection is somewhat manipulative. For example, if the city has several containers for separate collection or points of reception of secondary raw materials, the collection is considered separate. In fact, this is not the case, which confirms the percentage of recycling and disposal of waste.

Already by the end of this year, the total weight of used packaging for products, according to expert estimates, will reach 3.9 million tons, or 90 kg per Ukrainian. The largest share in this amount will have to waste from glass. At the same time, if you take into account the rates of environmental tax on packaging, which are contained in a package of tax bills, for glass containers this figure is the lowest.

The Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources knows about the problem with waste. The Office plans to create a system for integrated management of domestic waste and to involve the private sector in this process as operators and investors.

To launch the reform in Ukraine, the National Waste Management Strategy should begin to operate, a preliminary version of which is published on the website of the Ministry of Ecology. The document lists the principles of the waste hierarchy, as well as the basis for the expanded responsibility of producers and the use of an environmental tax on the disposal of domestic garbage.

How to reduce the amount of waste
Proposals of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources…

Waste in Law

Not only business and activists have tried to solve the garbage problem for several years, but also the Verkhovna Rada. More than 20 bills have been registered in the parliament, which concern the handling of packaging waste. None of them has yet received final approval. The waste management system remains blurred.

Tax package

In the summer of 2016 a group of deputies in one day registered five bills that deal with the introduction of an environmental packaging tax for producers and importers of packaging and packaging. The deputies suggested charging tax from manufacturers of packaging and goods in the package, and using the collected means to compensate for the costs of disposing of domestic garbage.

In particular, bill No. 4837 provides that the environmental tax that is charged for the production and import of packaging and goods in the package is used to compensate for the cost of recycling household waste. And an environmental tax on the placement of low-risk solid waste – to compensate for the cost of reclamation of landfills and dumps, as well as the construction of new landfills.

The package tax rate is set by bill No. 4836….

At the same time, according to business, the approach set out in the tax package is contrary to national legislation. In accordance with the Budget Code, taxes are spent on the maintenance of budgetary organizations, rather than commercial ones, as provided by these bills. In addition, the bill No. 4836 de facto introduces double taxation: an environmental tax for the manufacturer for the package issued to them, and then the tax for placing the same package (not by its producers) in specially designated places.

The conclusions of the anticorruption committee are disappointing: the bills contain corruption norms. There is a risk of creating territorial monopolies that set prices for their services without any regulation by the state or local authorities.

Bills No. 4835-4838 also block the creation of a system of extended liability of producers. After all, for enterprises that have chosen this model and have decided independently or through organizations of enhanced producer responsibility to fulfill their obligations, rather than pay a tax, the utilization rate is set at 100%. In addition, an unreasonable additional barrier is introduced in the form of a financial guarantee for the organizations of expanded producer responsibility in the amount of 1 million euros, the amount of which does not depend on the volume of recycled and recycled packaging waste, and therefore can not be a guarantee of fulfillment of obligations.

The tax package does not set standards for the collection and recycling of waste packaging and household waste. As a result, only those wastes that are easier to assemble will be disposed of. And at the expense of the budget, there will be a normal disposal of such wastes, and not their useful use by recycling, since processing norms are not established in principle.

Expected business costs in the event of a tax on packaging in 2017

1 billion UAH
Amount of packing tax for glass containers

3.4 billion USD
The population will pay for combined packaging

1.5 billion UAH
Amount of tax on the utilization of paper and paperboard

540 million UAH
The amount of tax on wood, organic and metal packaging
Deposit system

More than 13 billion tons of plastic, metal, glass and other materials are supplied to the Ukrainian market annually. Most of this container falls on landfills as household waste. How to organize the process? One of the possible economic instruments may be a deposit of tare of food beverages. Act No. 5614 provides for the creation of a deposit box – a bottle, which is paid for when purchasing a product and labeled with a special label. The system of deposit boxes should include operators of the deposit system, collection points, counting centers, consumers, points of sale of food beverages, producers, importers, etc. And also the mechanism for the return of collateral to the consumer. It is interesting that the law only deals with tare from food beverages and does not take into account strong alcohol, transit and export products, packaging from baby food.

The use of a deposit system of packaging, according to the deputies, should contribute to increasing waste collection. Such a system is implemented in many countries of Europe: Germany, Finland, Czech Republic, Norway, Estonia, Croatia. It allows you to collect up to 90% of packaging waste, however the cost of implementing such a system is several times higher than the separate collection and extended responsibility of producers.

At the same time, entrepreneurs note that the deposit system does not establish any standards for processing and recycling waste and does not provide incentives for protecting the environment. Funds paid in the form of a deposit remain in the system and are not used to protect nature

How does the deposit system work?
(According to the bill No. 5614)

World experience of introducing a deposit system
The introduction of a deposit system in Germany led to a drop in the share of environmentally friendly packaging from 71% to 46% in 2004-2014 and, as a result, to an annual increase in plastic waste to 400,000 tonnes. The implementation of the deposit system in Germany cost about 726 million euros, and the annual cost of its operation is 793 million euros.
The organization of collecting 1 ton of packaging waste in the Estonian deposit system costs 900 euros. At the same time, the average costs in the three extended liability organizations of the same country amount to 122 euros, that is, the deposit system is 7.4 times more expensive than the system of extended producer responsibility.
A recent study conducted by three academic institutions in Spain shows that the cost of introducing a deposit system for collection of used packaging for beverages will grow for every resident of the country from 10.6 to 48.7 euros per year. In general, the country’s annual costs in connection with the introduction of the deposit system will increase from 492 million euros to 2261 million euros, or 4.6 times.
Selective waste collection systems for packaging from all types of materials and forced deposits collectively collect about 70% of the available materials. But it is worth considering the price of the issue. According to industry studies, the collection of one ton of waste packaging from all types of materials costs 320-770 euros, and the combination of waste collection of packaging and spending on deposits costs already 790-1200 euros per ton.

Business fears that the introduction of a deposit system proposed by deputies will lead to a breach of Ukraine’s international obligations, since, in accordance with Art. 365 Association agreements between Ukraine and the EU, directions of institutional reforms, including in the field of waste management and resources, should be determined by appropriate strategy….