Minister Lichev responded to inquiries by Members of Parliament on waste management

26 Aug, 2021 | 12:55

The National Assembly held a hearing for the Minister of Environment and Water Asen Lichev yesterday devoted to the import, storage, and utilization of household and hazardous waste, as well as to ways to address the problem of illegal landfills.


The Council of Ministers will adopt a decision next week banning the import of waste under the code 191212, the Minister announced. “It is a paradox that one director, one deputy minister, and one official can authorize import by giving notifications, but according to the law and the regulation the minister cannot ban this import,” he added.


The proposal is based on the Waste Management Act and is related to the implementation of specific waste management measures set out in the National Waste Management Plan for the period 2021-2028. Waste under this code is non-hazardous. In most cases it is obtained by the mechanical treatment of mixed household waste.


Minister Lichev pointed out that currently 43 municipal landfills have not been closed, hence an infringement procedure is expected. According to Lichev, annually about 3 million tons of household waste is generated in Bulgaria, about 1 million of which is mixed waste and municipalities have a problem with its storage. “The infringement procedure on waste will be more costly than the one on air,” he warned.


Asen Lichev pointed out that when Turkey stopped 11 trucks of waste at the border with Bulgaria, he asked to ban imports from Turkey, but it turned out that there was no legal basis for such action. The Minister reminded that the government has adopted the National Waste Management Plan, which provides legal ground to take measures by decision of the Council of Ministers against the import of mixed waste, because those cannot be subject to safe incineration, but are intended only for disposal.