The National Waste Management Strategy adopted in 2017 prescribed that the volume of solid waste disposal at landfills should be reduced from 95% (in 2016) to 50% in 2023 and to 30% in 2030. However, last year’s figure did not keep up with the pace: the amount of buried waste in 2018 decreased by only 1.2%. According to experts, the situation in the field of waste management will not change dramatically until the sorting and recycling of garbage will not be profitable for investors.
On the thorny path in the EU, Ukraine will have to undergo many metamorphoses in all sectors of life. In terms of membership, the European Union is adamant: our area of waste management should be brought to the European quality mark. For this, the Government of Ukraine in 2017 developed a clear and consistent plan – the National Strategy for Waste Management until 2030.
According to the EU Directives, the “trash policy” should first of all be reduced to minimizing its formation, and dumping at the landfill site should be a last resort and apply only to such waste that does not biologically decompose, cannot be used as recyclable material and converted into energy.
In Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and other countries in which the sphere of waste management is brought to maximum efficiency, less than 5% falls on landfills of municipal solid waste. From the garbage “squeeze” everything that is possible. In Ukraine, more than 93% fall to landfills. At the same time, the law “On Waste” prohibits to dispose unused recycled waste at landfills from January 1, 2018.
“In fact, what comes to our landfill has already been sorted. Of the total solid household waste, a maximum of 5% is a commodity item, that is, they can accept recycling points and recycle. Nobody needs anything else.
And in order to dispose of these wastes with processing into energy, there are no enterprises in Ukraine, except for the capital plant Energia. Therefore, we get such a large percentage of burial at the landfill, “explains Andrei Gruschinsky, director of the company operating the landfill No. 5 of PJSC Kyivspetstrans.
According to the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction and Housing and Utilities, 4.2% of landfills in Ukraine are overcrowded, 16% do not meet environmental safety standards, and 30% need certification.
At the same time, a quarter of the population is still not covered by the garbage disposal service, and natural dumps continue to appear here and there, like mushrooms after rain: according to official statistics, about 26 thousand of them are formed annually.
To find money in the local budget for the construction of new landfills and waste-processing complexes is an almost impossible task: their cost ranges from tens of millions of hryvnias to tens of millions of dollars. Despite the fact that the “About Housing and Utilities” storage system regulates that now Ukrainians have to pay not only for the burial and removal of garbage, but also for its processing, local authorities are in no hurry to raise the tariff: it can grow by 100-200 hryvnia , and this is not everyone can afford.
The most optimal solution, according to participants in the field of waste management, would be the introduction of legislation on the expanded responsibility of producers of packaging and packaging or environmental tax. But these bills in the current version do not suit the residents of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, the European Business Association, the American Chamber of Commerce, the All-Ukrainian Agrarian Council and other business representatives.
One of the priority mechanisms in the waste management hierarchy, which is set by European directives, is the introduction of separate collection of solid waste. The Ministry of Regional Development reports on the annual increase in the number of settlements in which this method is implemented: from 822 settlements in 2017 to 1181 last year.
However, the percentage of population coverage in them is small – only only 39.1%. In general, in Ukraine there are about 30 thousand settlements, so that the method of separate collection of household waste in total is implemented only in 4% of settlements.
At the same time, the government expects that after 4 years at least 23% of the population should throw out garbage separately.
Experts point out that the benefits of colored containers – recycling for processing companies – are greatly exaggerated. Firstly, in fact, now and so all the garbage is sorted: persons without a certain place of residence are pulling out of the garbage cans everything useful that can be handed over at the nearest recycling station.
Secondly, there is no guarantee that the issue of separate waste collection will be approached responsibly enough and will fill the containers strictly according to their purpose. “Even in Germany, now a maximum of 35% of garbage is collected separately in different containers, everything else is thrown into a common” black “container,” says Andrei Gruschinsky.
According to him, now it is not profitable for anyone to organize separate collection of waste: the prices for recyclables offered by our enterprises cannot cover the costs for the purchase of garbage cans and the organization of transportation, especially considering that homeless people choose to go to the sorting station valuable components.
According to environmental calculations, on average, MSW can contain up to 40% of valuable materials. But, taking into account that in Ukraine, nevertheless, basically, waste is collected in “common” containers, the potential recyclable material is spoiled and polluted, and the amount of valuable resources is reduced to 5-10%.
In addition, even the separately collected garbage will have to be sorted once again at the enterprises. “For example, for different types of plastic, there are different processing technologies, so it is separated on the sorting lines by type and color. In addition, not all polymers are recyclable. Of the 1000 types of packaging and liquid packaging, only 20-40 are,” explains Ukrainian Production and Environmental Association for the procurement and use of secondary material resources “Ukrvtorma” Peter Semko.
As a result, it turns out that domestic recycling is not enough for the full-fledged work of Ukrainian processing enterprises, so it is even purchased abroad. So, last year, enterprises of the Ukrvtorma association bought 202.2 thousand tons of waste paper in Russia (392.3 thousand tons in total were purchased), in Poland – 17.4 thousand tons of polymers (53.4 thousand tons in total) , in Belarus – 24.1 thousand tons of cullet (in total 32.5 thousand tons were purchased).
“Due to the fact that neither the population nor the producers pay for processing the packaging, organization of collection and processing of recyclable materials costs much more for businesses than in Europe, where the cost of packaging processing is already included in the price of goods. Therefore, our recyclables are at cost more expensive than the import and does not match the rates that our processing enterprises provide for it.
At the same time, if the price is raised on it, the enterprises will not buy it, since the cost of imported recycled materials will be more attractive for business. And if you lower it, but it will be unprofitable for the population to hand it over to recycling facilities, ”explains the head of the public environmental organization“ Friend of Life ”Sergei Volkov.
Send all to the furnace
After solid waste has taken away everything valuable that can be recycled, garbage can be sent for recycling with energy production. This can be done in three ways: collect biogas directly at the landfill; produce biogas and solid fuels in factories with a mechanic-biological method of processing solid waste; to produce electricity and heat by directly burning MSW in plants with a thermal processing method.
At the same time, in the case of extraction of electricity from biogas and biomass, it can be sold at a “green” tariff of € 0.1229 euro / kWh, excluding VAT.
The Ministry of Regional Development, Construction and Housing and Communal Services reports: “After the adoption of the Law of Ukraine” On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine Concerning Ensuring Competitive Conditions for the Production of Electricity from Alternative Energy Sources “in 2015, which included sections to increase” green “tariff for electricity from biomass and biogas from household waste and the abolition of the requirements for the local component, in Ukraine there is a tendency to increase the number of landfills, toryh arranged biogas extraction system and installed cogeneration plants to produce thermal or electric energy.
Thus, at 32 landfills, a biogas extraction system was arranged and cogeneration plants with a capacity of 19 MW were operated. The amount of electricity produced for 2018 is more than 63.3 million kWh. ”
An opportunity to sell electricity at a “green” tariff are also enterprises with a mechanical-biological method of processing solid waste. There are no such people in Ukraine yet, however, plans to build factories in Lviv, Zhytomyr, Poltava, Khmelnitsky and Kiev were reported.
In particular, in the capital, the plant should come to replace the Landfill No. 5 and recycle at least 450 thousand tons per year: as much as it annually assumed the landfill in the village of Podgortsy near Kiev. “Kyivspetstrans” decided that he would take part in the construction of the plant on mechanical and biological technology. This technology is fundamentally different from incineration and provides that solid waste is selected separately from the solid waste sorting method, both manual and automatic. are resource valuable, that is, recycled.
Organic matter is separated from the remaining mass and sent for compulsory processing in an anaerobic plant, where biogas is produced in 21 days, from which electricity is produced. After this, technical compost remains, which can be used in other industries, for example, in agriculture.
Inorganic, in turn, is divided into what is burning (utilized during combustion) and what is not burning (sent to landfills and is inert to the environment), “explains the principle of the future enterprise Andrei Gruschinsky.
According to a study by the Bioenergy Association of Ukraine, a plant with mechanical and biological technology will be able to earn at a “green” rate of 29.7 euros per ton of processed MSW. However, given the specific capital costs of such projects (150–400 euro / t MSW), only the cost of processing will be 30-80 euro / t MSW.
At the same time, investors do not flatter themselves even with the “green” tariff: under current legislation, the level of such a tariff will gradually decrease by 10% in 2020 and 2025, and in 2030 it will cease to work at all for electricity producers from biogas and biomass.
At the same time, the incineration plants with a thermal method of processing MSW “green” tariff does not apply. Now in Ukraine there is only one such enterprise – the capital plant “Energia”, which processes 280 thousand tons of MSW per year and provides heating to about 300 houses in the Poznyaki residential area.
According to official data, today only 3% of waste is burned in Ukraine, and the National Strategy regulates that this value should not exceed 10%. Investors do not dare to launch new incineration plants: its construction in compliance with all environmental standards will cost 130-270 million euros, depending on the capacity, while the cost of processing a ton of solid waste at such a plant will be 90-130 euros.
Despite the fact that the current tariffs for services for the treatment of MSW include recycling items, the garbage after the surface sorting is still sent to a thousand-year rest at the landfills – so cheaper. For example, Kiev “Energy” for burning tons of MSW takes 143.5 hryvnia, while the tariff for disposal is on average from 50 to 110.
“With current legislation and political will, the recycling industry cannot develop normally. Ultimately, all questions are reduced to one – who will pay for it? Now people do not understand how much they spend on garbage collection. If you raise the tariffs for waste management services , it should be painful for the population. People will start to monitor how much, what and how they are thrown away. In the same way, when people started saving money and water, “says Sergey Volkov.
In the question of “who pays for it,” the extreme ones cannot be found for several years already: there are about a dozen draft laws in the Parliament, which offer different financing schemes for the processing of solid household waste. First, it is already possible to raise tariffs for the population.
“On average, the processing fee can grow by 100 hryvnia. But local governments will not go to such a sharp increase. In addition, this is not entirely fair, as calculating the amount of garbage produced will not work. Someone who produces minimum waste per month , should pay the same amount as the person who produces a lot of garbage. Yes, in the current version of the law “On Housing and Communal Services” there is a norm that, in the case of separate waste collection, from the service fee for waste excluded the cost of operations for the processing of sorted waste, but how this mechanism to realize how to control who, what and how to throw, the legislator is silent “, -. Gruschinsky explains Andrew.
According to him, it is possible to get out of such a delicate situation by setting an environmental tax on containers and packaging, as proposed by Bill No. 4835-d. At the same time, the price of consumer goods will rise slightly – by 10-15 kopecks – and will not be so painfully perceived by Ukrainians as a sharp increase in the utility tariff.
However, the producers and importers of packaging and packaging from such an idea are not thrilled: the environmental tax will go to the special account of the state budget, and it is not known how it will be distributed further – to the construction of a garbage processing complex or to someone in your pocket. However, there is an alternative to this proposal: the principle of extended responsibility for manufacturers of containers and packaging, in which they themselves must unite in a non-profit organization and take up the issue of collecting and recycling packaging.
But in the existing version of the bill number 6602, this rule, according to experts, also does not bring the optimal solution. “This legislative initiative” will complicate the procedure for creating and operating organizations of extended producer responsibility because of inconsistencies in the legal regulation of their status and activities, as well as the requirement to pay a bank guarantee as a prerequisite for entering these organizations in the relevant register and performing their functions, ” In its open letter, the European Business Association.
However, other ideas regarding the modernization of waste management are also being swarming under the parliamentary dome: they propose raising the tariff for the disposal of solid waste to make it more profitable for consumers to send them for recycling; create a deposit system for recycling containers and packaging, in which consumers can return them to certain points and receive a deposit back.
Bill No. 4835-d proposes, among other things, to establish a “green” tariff for the incineration of sorted waste, from which all useful components have been removed. But the community of environmental activists was sharply opposed to this approach: with this concept, the volume of waste produced will not decrease, and it will only be beneficial for factories to accept large quantities of solid waste for processing into expensive electricity.
However, no matter how much disagreement arises on the basis of the “junk problem”, all parties agree with one thing: it needs to be addressed, but with maximum economic benefit and minimal damage to the environment.
“The start of construction of new waste treatment plants and attracting investments in this area will achieve a replacement of 1 billion M³ of gas equivalent annually and help solve the country’s energy problem and increase its energy independence,” the main argument in the State Agency for Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving of Ukraine cites.