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Sound and independent information
on the environment

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Waste (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

The state and impacts

Topic
Waste Waste
Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 08 Apr 2011

Waste represents one of the main environmental issues in BiH with issues arising mainly due to the inadequate management, lack of infrastructure and social attitude towards waste. The current problem of insufficient waste disposal system capacities has led to considerable quantities of waste being dumped illegally at roadsides, in rivers, abandoned mines, and similar places, posing threats to public health and the environment. No waste incineration facilities are currently operated in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Recyclables separated from the mixed municipal waste amount to less than 5 % of the total municipal waste mass (estimate), while at least 95 % of the collected mixed municipal waste is disposed of mostly on non-sanitary disposal sites.

BiH is a potential candidate country for EU accession following the Thessaloniki European Council of June 2003. On 16 June 2008, the EU and BiH signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA). As a country in transition, Bosnia and Herzegovina is faced in the post-war period with numerous social, economic and other problems, among which the issue of environmental protection stands out as one of the most crucial. In the pre-war period, the basic natural resources – water, air and soil – of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the centre of heavy industry and as the Republic providing raw materials and energy that served as the basis for the economic development of former Yugoslavia, were subject to serious pollution. Large surfaces, above all those in urban areas, were exposed to various forms of pollution, due to expansion of construction and building, manufacturing industry and power industry (mines and large power facilities).

The responsibility for waste management policy and legislation is shared between entity ministries responsible for the environment and corresponding cantonal ministries in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH). The main waste legislation consists of the Law on Waste Management of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette FBiH 33/2003) and the Law on Waste Management of Republic Sprska (Official Gazette RS 51/2002) which are almost identical. They are harmonized with EU Decision 94/904/EEC and EU Directive 91/689/EEC and cover the management of all kinds of waste following the underlying basic principles of EU environmental policies.

Figure 1 Proposed Waste Management Regions - Environmental Strategy FBiH

 

The key drivers and pressures

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 23 Nov 2010

As economic conditions improve in Bosnia and Herzegovina, consumption patterns are changing and municipal waste is increasing. Citizens are buying more packaged food and other goods and they tend to discard goods more quickly. The share of plastics and packaging in municipal waste is significant. The GDP (purchasing power parity) is USD 27.7 billion (2007 estimate), however a large informal sector could be as much as 50 % of the official GDP. The per capita GDP (purchasing power parity) is USD 6,100 (2007 estimate).

The following table presents waste data from 1999 from the EU Phare, Solid Waste Management Strategy, Technical Report 1, August 1999.

Table 1: Estimated waste generation in Bosnia and Herzegovina 1999

 

Waste generation (tonnes/year)

Waste per capita (tonnes/capita/year)

 

Population

Municipal

Industrial

Hazardous waste*

Total

Municipal    waste

Industrial

Total

Federation

2,366,373

1,081,581

495,360

4,953.6

1,576,937

0.457

0.209

0.666

Republic Srpska

 

1,455,620

 

650,266

 

353,081

 

3,530.8

 

1,003,349

 

0.447

 

0.243

 

0.689

Brcko District

 

80,324

 

33,046

 

15,191

 

151.9

 

48,236

 

0.411

 

0.189

 

0.601

Total

3,902,317

1,764,893

863,632

8,636.3

2,628,522

0.452

0.221

0.674

 

Note: * Estimated 1 % of industrial waste was considered hazardous.

 

According to the new Environmental Protection Strategy of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, containing a new Waste Management Strategy, the latest mean annual municipal waste generation estimate for the territory of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is 269 kg/capita, which is in line with the Eastern Europe countries’ average (336 kg/capita in 2005). This, compared to Western European countries, relatively low generation rate is attributed to the standard of living and relatively low consumption rates.

So far there have been several attempts to establish figures on the percentage of individual waste streams, primarily recyclable wastes, in the mixed municipal waste. However, there were great variations in the results obtained on different locations. No regular pattern could be established, mostly due to lack of systematic, long term examination.

Recyclables separated from the mixed municipal waste amount to less than 5 % of the total municipal waste mass where 20-25 % of waste paper, 1 % of plastics, and less than 1 % of glass is actually segregated and collected. At least 95 % of the collected mixed municipal waste is thus landfilled, mostly on non-sanitary disposal sites.

Municipal waste contains organic material, durable and non durable goods, packaging plastics and textiles. It also contains small quantities of hazardous waste like paint, batteries and agrochemicals, especially from households.

Bosnia and Herzegovina does not have separate waste collection schemes. The only separation that takes places is informal, carried out by several enterprises covering paper, plastics and metals from municipal waste.

 

The 2020 outlook

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 08 Apr 2011

Although the entities recognize the need to significantly strengthen capacities in solid waste management and have identified this as a priority in their strategic documents, the lack of funding resulted in minimal progress until the World Bank supported the government with USD 26 millions (Solid Waste Management Program 1 – SWMP I) for priority rehabilitation of old dump sites and setting up of new regional landfills. Main regions receiving funding under SWMP I were Sarajevo, Zenica, Bihac, Tuzla and Banja Luka. Following the successful implementation of the project, a second World Bank loan of USD 40 million was approved in 2008 (Solid Waste Management Programme 2 – SWMP II) aiming at supporting landfill rehabilitation in 6-10 regions. The loan became available in mid-2009 and the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. The loan is taken by the municipalities using the regional landfill, while at the same time they act as the Contracting Authority.

Procurement follows the rules and procedures of the World Bank while Project Management Units (PMU) has been established in FBiH and RS respectively to implement the projects.

Regional landfills currently operating are those in Sarajevo and Zenica whereas new regional landfills are being constructed in Bijeljina and Banja Luka. Similarly a landfill design is being carried out for a multi-municipal landfill (including rehabilitation of the existing dumpsite) in Tuzla where approximately 3 million Euros are expected to be spent by the end of 2009 for a range of waste management and landfill equipment.

Given the lack of technical and financial capacity with local municipalities, in 2009, the EU provided technical assistance to BiH authorities for preparation of studies for localisation of regional sanitary landfills and feasibility studies in 7 regions of BiH. The technical assistance will support the municipalities applying for the World Bank SWMP II project. To date, the EU has provided technical assistance for drafting a strategy and has financed the purchase of recycling equipment at the Sarajevo landfill, the closure and restoration of dumpsites at Knezevo and Trebinje as well as waste management plans and technical assistance for Doboj, Livno and Trebinje.

Operational goal

2011.

2014.

2018.

7.2.1

Establish a system of separate waste collection in all municipalities of Federation B&H (% of total number of municipalities)

30

60

95

7.2.2

Collect and recycle packaging waste

(% of total quantity produced)

8

20

30

 

Paper and cardboard

35

45

55

 

Glass

4

10

40

 

Metal

55

60

65

 

Plastics

3

6

15

7.2.3

Biowaste separately collected from gardens and parks

30

50

70

7.2.4

Establish a regional centers for waste management in all regions with all the necessary amenities -% of the total planned number

-

 

100

Table 2: Operational goals for municipal waste - Strategic Goal 7.2 (Federal Waste Management Strategy)

The focus for this sector in the future is to implement the strategies and adopted legislation in order to improve the overall performance and reduce negative impacts. It is necessary to establish and strengthen an environmentally friendly integrated waste management system to reduce municipal waste disposal and introduce recycling schemes. Some of the measures to improve the system are: separate collection of municipal waste (paper, plastics and hazardous waste) and, to the extent possible, recycling municipal waste, such as paper, plastics, glass, metal and organic waste, and industrial waste, separating and incinerating medical waste, composting organic waste, introducing standards for municipal waste disposal and introducing economic instruments and improving existing financial mechanisms for the overall waste management system. Attention also needs to be given to reducing waste generation at the source and introducing life-cycle analysis in order to achieve sustainable consumption and production. 

References

  • Strategy for Protect Environment of Federation B&H, ( 2008-2018)
  • Environmental Performance Reviews for B&H, EU/EC, 2004
  • Solid Waste Management Strategy for B&H, EU/EC, 2000
  • Figure 2: Expected effects of reducing waste amount by applying measures of selective collection and establishing mechanical-biological treatment (MBT)
    Disclaimer

    The country assessments are the sole responsibility of the EEA member and cooperating countries supported by the EEA through guidance, translation and editing.

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