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Sound and independent information
on the environment


Waste (Montenegro)

Why should we care about this issue

Waste Waste
Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 22 Dec 2010

Waste is a serious problem in Montenegro with acute as well as long-term impacts on both environment and human health.

Preventing and managing waste is at the very heart of sustainable development. Waste means unnecessary depletion of natural resources, unnecessary costs and environmental damage that could be avoided. Sustainable waste management is about using resources more efficiently.

It has to be recognised that waste has a negative impact on environment and human health, that waste has to be put to better use, and that all those concerned – as politicians, member of administration and companies, and individuals – can play a vital role in managing waste in a more sustainable way.

Moving towards sustainable waste management will mean dramatic changes over the next ten years, where producers as well as consumers have to be encouraged to generate as little waste as possible.

Future sustainable and practicable ways have to be found to deal with waste. Such a change is essential, irrespective of whether Montenegro accedes to the European Union, as it is essential to safeguarding our own health and well-being, and making our country a better place to live.

The state and impacts

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 22 Dec 2010

Even though waste statistics in Montenegro are not well developed and there is a lack of data on overall waste generation and on specific waste streams, it is clear that waste is a significant problem. Improper disposal, usually on simple waste dumps both legal and illegal, is a significant source of air, soil, and surface and groundwater pollution. Regarding municipal waste generation, one of the EEA Core Set of Indicators, estimates range from 0.8 kg/person/day (Master Plan) to 1 kg/person/day (official statistics).


Quantity of Waste Generated

This report is based on the data from the Strategic Master Plan for Waste Management as baseline data.

Since the geographic structure of Montenegro varies considerably in ways relevant for municipal waste generation, handling, transport and disposal, the assessment of quantities of waste generated Montenegro is divided into three regions, corresponding also to the official regional division:

▫         mountainous (northern) region;

▫         central region;

▫         coastal region.


Seen by region, the Strategic Master Plan assumes the following daily waste quantities per capita:

▫         mountain region 0.6 kg/person/day;

▫         central region 0.8 kg/person/day;

▫         coastal region 0.9 kg/person/day.


According to the Strategic Master Plan, the quantity of waste generated by visitors is 1.5 kg/visitor/day. The Master Plan also includes the waste generated by residents of Montenegro with those generated by refugees – 0.25 kg/person/day.

In line with the above, annual waste generation in Montenegro is determined as per the following table:


Table 1 Quantity of Waste Generated


Waste generator






Projections (t/y)


194 879

119 626

13 601

46 877


279 419

124 874

15 947

85 598


145 847

5 691 770

17 336

60 673


620 145

5 936 270

46 884

193 148

Composition of Municipal Waste

The composition of municipal waste in regions in Montenegro is given in the following table (as per the Strategic Master Plan).

Table 2  Overview of Average Annual Composition of Municipal Waste (%)


Paper& cardboard








































Hazardous Municipal Waste

In Montenegro there are no assessments of the types and quantities of hazardous waste from households. Considering that the generation of these types of waste is not monitored separately, but is seen within overall quantities of municipal waste generated, data on annual quantities generated is not available. Experience from other countries ranges from 0.4 to 4.7 kg/person/year, meaning that the annual quantity generated in Montenegro ranges between 250 and 3 000 t. Based on indicators in countries with a similar level of economic development, these figures are probably closer to the lower limit. In the Strategic Master Plan, the expected quantity of hazardous waste generated in households is assumed to be 950 t/year.


 Waste Treatment and Recycling

Recycling of municipal waste, with small exceptions, is not done and there are no proper waste recycling facilities.

The quantities of selectively collected secondary raw materials in Montenegro in 2006 are shown in the following table:

      Table 3 Quantities of selectively collected secondary raw materials


Amount (t/year)

Paper, cardboard

2 800

Metal/car wrecks









3 380


Waste Disposal

The Podgorica regional sanitary landfill for the municipalities of Podgorica, Danilovgrad and Cetinje was built in 2007 and is currently used to dispose of waste collected within the municipalities of Podgorica and Danilovgrad.

In other towns waste is mostly disposed at sites some of which are located in ways that pose a threat to public health and the environment. With a small number of exceptions, these sites are quite poorly managed. None of the locations were selected in accordance with environmental protection principles and proper technical protection measures are not undertaken – collected waste is directly placed on the ground, with no protective layers.


Amounts of Hazardous Waste

In the Strategic Master Plan it is assumed that the following amounts of hazardous waste are generated:


Table 4 Presumed Amounts of Hazardous Waste

Waste Category



Type of Waste

Category A


1 152

Waste oils

Category B


3 796

Organic waste containing S or halogens

Category C



Liquid, calorific organic waste without S or halogens

Category H


3 810

Organic waste without S or halogens

Category K



Waste containing mercury

Category O



Reactive waste

Category T



Pesticides and herbicides

Category X


8 911

Non-organic waste

Category Z



Other waste



18 792


The key drivers and pressures

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 22 Dec 2010

 Future Waste Generation

All assumptions for the projections of waste generation have been taken from the Master Plan. These estimates should be taken with caution due to changes that occurred after completion of the Master Plan and the inability to provide new information.

The assumption for annual population growth is based on comparison of the 1991 and 2003 census data. The steady annual population growth of 0.37 % was assumed as the average growth for the entire country – an increase of 0.81 % for the Central Region, an increase of 1.26 % for the Coastal Region and a decrease of  0.68% for the Northern Region.

Economic development can best be described by Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is expected that the annual GDP growth rate will be around 4 %. For the capital city Podgorica and the Coastal Region average annual GDP growth is estimated to be 1 % higher than national GDP growth. For all other municipalities in the Central and Northern Region GDP growth rate is estimated to be some 1 % lower than the national rate.

The connection between waste generation and economic development is assumed to be 50 %, a 2 % increase of GDP leads to 1 % waste increase. This interdependence between waste and GDP increase applies only to the components of consumer waste: glass, paper and cardboard, metals, plastics and textiles. Organics and others are not assumed to be directly linked to GDP trends.


In the Strategic Master Plan, the amounts of different components of waste are shown in the following table:

Table 5  Municipal Waste Generation Montenegro 2008-2012 (tonnes)








Paper and cardboard

38 994

39 981

41 051

42 153

43 291


51 877

52 133

52 393

52 658

52 928


10 211

10 464

10 724

10 992

11 269


24 573

25 198

25 842

26 507

27 191


8 813

9 038

9 270

9 509

9 756


16 229

16 651

17 087

17 536

17 999


46 303

46 573

46 847

47 124

47 405


197 000

200 038

203 214

206 479

209 839


Packaging and packaging waste

The following table shows the projection for the generation of packaging and packaging waste in 2008 and 2012.

            Table 6 Projection for generation of packaging and packaging waste


Packaging from commercial entities (t)

Packaging from households (t)






Paper and cardboard

13 280

14 800

2 340

2 600


2 250

2 500

9 080

9 700


1 072

1 200

4 200

4 700


5 180

5 750

9 660

10 700


21 782

24 250

25 280

27 700


The 2020 outlook

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 22 Dec 2010

Based on the application of a set of prioritisation criteria, waste management has been determined as a high priority policy area. Since the National Waste Management Policy – and a number of plans, including the Solid Waste Master Plan and the National Waste Management Plan – is already in place, the focus of future MSPE work on policy development will be refining of policy objectives/setting targets and an evaluation of the implementation of existing policies. A comprehensive review of waste policies is proposed for the period 2011 - 2012. At that time, the MSPE should:

·        initiate and lead the process of evaluating the existing policy (first half of 2011);

·        analyse the key problems with implementation of the current policy and assess the state of waste management systems and identify possible solutions (second half of 2011);

·        organise a wide consultation process (from the onset until the end of the process);

·        formulate new policy (first half of 2012).

Meanwhile, there will be a need to formulate policies for specific waste topics.


Municipal Waste

When determining locations for establishing certain networks – regional landfills, transfer stations, recycling centres, composting centres – the need for inter-municipal cooperation for the construction of regional sanitary landfills was taken as the starting point. The quantity of waste is given solely as an indicator and is related to the entire estimated quantities of waste to be disposed of at regional landfills, not specifying the quantity of recyclable waste or waste suitable for composting or other forms of processing.



▫         National Waste Management Policy (February 2004),

▫         Strategic Master Plan for Solid Waste Management (December 2004)

▫         Spatial Plan and Sectoral Waste Management Study (July 2005), which covers this field for the purpose of drafting the National Spatial Plan for Montenegro until 2020.

▫         Policy Development Plan (December 2008)

▫         WASTE MANAGEMENT PLAN 2008 – 2012 FOR MONTENEGRO (2008)

▫         National Programme for Integration (NPI) 2008-2012

▫         Progress Monitoring Report (2008)

Existing and planned responses

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 22 Dec 2010

Waste management is one of the environmental sectors/topics where policy and planning frameworks have been reasonably well developed. Transposition of the complex EU waste legislation is however in a less advanced phase: the last EC Progress Reports (2007, 2008) assessed that, overall, alignment with the EU standards on waste was low, except for the Waste Framework Directive and the Hazardous Waste Directive.

The Waste Management Law (Official Gazette of the RM, No. 80/05 and 73/08) regulates types and classification of wastes; planning of waste management; conditions for waste collection, transport, treatment, storage and disposal; rights, duties and responsibilities of legal and physical persons involved in waste management; and conditions and procedures for waste management permits. It also defines principles for managing specific waste streams, sets a legal basis for regulation of waste incineration, etc. The Law was planned to come into force in November 2008, but due to a delay in fulfilling conditions for its implementation, the coming into force of a number of provisions was postponed to 2010.

Preparation of bylaws, rulebooks, on landfills and on classification of wastes/methods for waste examination is ongoing. A comprehensive plan for further transposition of EU waste legislation is set out in the National Programme for Integration (NPI). In the period 2008-2009, transposition efforts focus on framework, hazardous waste and landfill directives, regulation of shipments of waste, and decisions on waste lists. Further transposition of legislation on waste incineration and specific waste streams is planned for the period 2010-2012.

Montenegro acceded, by succession, to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal in 2006.

The key stakeholder is the Ministry of Spatial Planning and Environment (MSPE). The newly established Environmental Protection Agency will also play a significant role in this area through its permitting, monitoring, inspection and communication responsibilities. Another institution that has an important role when it comes to waste data is the Montenegrin statistical office MONSTAT. Local administrations are in charge of development and application of waste management policy at the local level, and collection, transport and disposal of waste are organised within public utilities (enterprises for provision of communal services). The Project Implementation Unit (PIU) has recently been established to assist municipal utilities with development and management of investment projects for environmental infrastructure. Regulatory mechanisms for the participation of the private sector in the provision of waste management services are being developed, which makes the private sector an important stakeholder in the waste management cycle. This refers not only to potential involvement in collection, treatment and disposal of wastes, but also to the private sector as a waste generator.

NGOs and the general public have an important role to play in the area of awareness raising and changing behaviour in respect to waste.

The National Waste Management Policy was adopted in 2004, setting the basic principles and goals for waste management. These include prevention and minimisation of waste generation, prevention of pollution, liability for environmental pollution from wastes – the polluter pays principle – and similar.

The Strategic Master Plan for Solid Waste Management was adopted in 2005. The overall aim of the plan is to minimise the impact of waste on the environment, to improve resource-use efficiency and to remedy past mismanagement of waste. The Master Plan envisages the construction of seven regional landfills for municipal waste to serve all 21 municipalities in Montenegro, rehabilitation of the existing waste disposal sites, improvements in waste collection systems including enhancement of recycling schemes, as well as improvements in management and disposal of specific waste types including hazardous, medical wastes, sewage sludge. Total investments for the implementation of the Plan until 2014 are estimated at around €120 million.

The National Waste Management Plan was adopted in 2008, and preparation of a number of local waste management plans is under way. The National Plan defines waste management objectives and provides conditions for rational and sustainable waste management for the next five years.


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

European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100