Waste - Why care? (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)
Waste management is one of the most serious environmental issues in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, taking into account the fact that waste quantities continue to grow.
Most of the waste is disposed of in landfills, both legal and illegal. Waste recycling is very limited. The impacts of landfills on the environment and thus on human health are huge due to emissions methane, a greenhouse gas; organic micro-pollutants, dioxins and furans; emissions of volatile heavy metals into the air and leakages that may contain toxic substances discharged to the soil and groundwaters.
There are significant initiatives to reduce waste quantities, encourage recycling and implement safe standards for waste landfilling (Strategy for Waste Management of the Republic of Macedonia (2008-2020), 2008).
The primary goal of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is to decouple the waste generation and the use of natural resources from economic activity in order to minimise the environmental burden.
According to the waste legislation, the priorities in waste management in the Republic are:
- avoidance of waste generation and reduction of harmful impacts of waste on the environment and human life and health;
- improvement of production technologies to reduce waste generation, and use of ecological products and less packaging;
- waste recycling and reuse either in another process for raw materials extraction or through energy recovery.