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EC Environment Commissioner: ‘Proper waste management could create 30,000 local jobs’

Thousands of jobs could be created if Romania implements existing waste management legislation to the full, Janez Potocnik, the European Commissioner for the Environment, told The Diplomat-Bucharest in mid-January

2014-02-02 19:40:31 - From the Print Edition

"Considerable efforts are still needed before Romania can meet all the EU objectives in the waste sector, above all by developing the required infrastructure and large separate collection programmes," said Potocnik. "Better waste management means job creation and economic growth. If Romania implemented the existing legislation to the full, around 30,000 jobs could be created, and these are often jobs that benefit local economies directly."
Regarding municipal waste recycling and the achievement of the 50 percent recycling target by 2020, Potocnik said that statistics show Romania still relies heavily on landfill for the management of its municipal waste (more than 95 percent) and serious investment in the separate collection of dry recyclables and bio-waste will be needed in the coming years to reach the target. "Some appropriate instruments need to be put in place, with sound waste management plans and waste prevention programmes, and economic instruments such as ‘pay as you throw' schemes, landfill taxes, deposit refund systems, producer responsibility schemes and so forth," said Potocnik. "These are tried and tested methods. They have been shown to work very effectively in member states that now have very high recycling rates such as Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and Belgium."
By 2020, the main municipal waste obligation assumed by Romania before the European Union is the recycling of 50 percent of the total mass of paper, metal, plastic and glass. Currently, the figure stands at 6 percent. More details on what other requirements has Romania to fulfil and how the EU can help improve the local management system can be found in the full article on the following pages.

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