Waste management

The waste management hierarchy indicates that re-use of waste is preferable, followed by recycling or recovery, with disposal as the least desirable option. However, the nature of the individual wastes is a potential barrier to implement recycling/recovery/re-use actions especially on-site leading in many cases to waste export for off-site treatment.

To comply with the vision of Waste Management in Georgia “Georgia to become a waste preventing and recycling society“ by implementing following:

  • Taking action on prevention, reuse , recycling and recovery of waste;
  • Collection of all waste in Georgia;
  • Developing waste at source separation;
  • Introducing Full Cost Recovery;
  • Introducing Extended Producers Responsibility;
  • Taking initiatives on specific waste streams of national concern;
  • Establishing Private – Public Partnership;
  • Introducing incentives to meet the objectives of the National Waste Management Strategy

As specific waste streams are those wastes considered which are generated during daily life by ordinary consumers and have to be separated from the municipal waste quantities due to their hazardous content.

These are:

  • Portable batteries
  • Automotive batteries/accumulators
  • Lubricating engine oils
  • Waste from electrical/electronic equipment (WEEE)
  • End-of-life vehicles (ELV)

The general practice in EU countries is that, by applying the Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR), the producers/importers of the relevant products put on the market undertake the setting up of the management system: separate collection, storage, treatment/recycling of the relevant waste streams.

Extended producer responsibility

Producers, importers, distributors and sellers of products influencing the increase of waste volume are responsible for the waste generated as a result of their activities. The producer bears the greatest responsibility because he influences the composition and the characteristics of a product and its packaging material. The producer is obliged to take care of the generation of waste, development of recyclable products, development of the market for re-use and recycling of their products. This practically means that the producers are responsible for their products till the end of product life cycle, or “from cradle to grave”, and that they can fulfill their obligations either individually or collectively (formation of a collective scheme).

Under the EPR principle the producers/importers of batteries/accumulators, lubricating oils, EEE, vehicles are supposed to set up the whole management system including the necessary facilities for the dismantling/de-pollution/recycling of the relevant wastes. In doing so, the existing infra-structure in Georgia can be included in the system but also new investments will be necessary

“Polluter pays” principle

One of the most important principles is the financially sustainable activity of waste management based on the “polluter pays” principle. The polluters must bear full costs of the consequences of their activities. The costs of generation, treatment and disposal of waste must be included in the price of a product. The principle of full costs recovery for the services of collection and disposing of waste should be applied, as well as the introduction of financial stimulation instruments for re- use and recycling of waste

Waste reduction

Source segregation of wastes is the easiest and most economical method of reducing the volume of hazardous waste. The implementation of separate bins, with training and enforcement of their use, may reduce the quantities of non-hazardous waste that become hazardous by contamination. This approach may generate wastes that can be recycled and potentially generate an income.

Adjustments to processes may be made with a view to reducing waste generation, rather than maximizing other factors such as profit or time. The economics of this approach will depend on how the system of charging for waste management is implemented and enforced.

For the time being, Georgia’s private sector organizations engaged in waste management faces a number of problems inclusive of inadequate waste collection equipment, deficiencies in complying with the requirements of the hazardous waste legislation, lack of proper reporting mechanisms and inadequate traceability of wastes from the source to the recycling / disposal facility. The waste transportation services are expected to gradually develop as the demand of waste generators and treatment facilities on the respective services will increase overtime.

In order to avoid mixing of hazardous and non-hazardous waste and to enable further recycling the collection and transport system for C&D waste has to take into consideration source separation (including the removal of hazardous materials/components) at the construction site. Therefore possibilities for the collection and transport of specific hazardous wastes like e.g. asbestos containing wastes, PCB/PAH containing wastes, WEEE and lamps has to be established, which could be carried out by companies with respective permits.

Since 2017 Georgian municipalities have undertaken efforts to develop municipal waste management action plans that is a new initiative for Georgia. Accordingly all municipalities are expected to have their 5-year action plans in place. These municipal plans should be aligned to the National Waste Management Action Plan and provide a thorough information and data regarding the  current waste collection system,  quantities and types of collected and located non-hazardous waste, quantities and types of hazardous waste collected from the population,  location of waste recycling enterprises, activities to be undertaken in the respective municipality for establishing the system of separate collection, recycling and storing of municipal waste, including biodegrading waste,  plans of the construction of new waste recycling facilities, public awareness raising programs on waste management issues, etc.

In order to achieve a sustainable system of waste management in Georgia, the incineration of waste combined with its energetic use should be developed on a local and regional level. The incineration of waste is essential part of an integrated approach to waste management facilitating reduction, reuse and recycling of waste