Waste Management

Waste management issues have been a priority for co-operation and experience exchange among the environmental authorities of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania since the beginning of the 1990s. Through the activities of the Baltic Environmental Forum, regular information exchange and on-going learning has been fostered regarding the development of efficient waste management systems. BEF has followed the work of the Environment Ministries of the three Baltic States, which started from zero:

Building up a legislative framework for waste handling, creating institutions and defining responsibilities, developing waste management strategies, setting targets for single waste streams and, at the same time, defining measures for the continuous improvement of the system. Due to the involvement of many actors as well as the complexity of waste streams, the waste sector is highly complicated. What’s more, by opening local markets to western consumer goods, entirely new waste streams have been created in the Baltic States. For these new streams, there existed no management experience (e.g., packaging, end-of-life vehicles or electronic scrap). Furthermore, a new waste management system had to be organised, and large-scale investments were required to upgrade or build environmentally sound landfills. Therefore, BEF activities paid special attention to the management of the specific waste streams, the involvement of the public and interested stakeholders in awareness raising activities, and the involvement of NGOs for better waste management in the region.

In recent years, we have expanded the focus of our activities with regard to waste at accession candidates and countries outside of the EU. BEF provides project management and organizes the transfer of German and Baltic expertise into the target countries in projects that focus on waste management.

Matthias Grätz
Phone: +49 (0) 40 5330 7075
E-Mail: matthias.graetz@bef-de.org

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