“WASMA-2019”: current issues and prospects of the waste management industry

On October 22-24, 2019, the first international Congress of environmental technologies WASMA was held in Sokolniki Centre. The Congress was attended by Sergey Podoynikov, Executive Director of EcoTyresUnion, and Anna Zakharova, legal counsel.

The program of the event was rich and extensive, including sessions devoted to both the development of the waste management industry in general and its individual areas: the key attention was paid to solid municipal waste (hereinafter-SMW) and extended producer responsibility. The discussion panel “Waste under control: EPR as an effective tool of environmental policy”, where Sergey Podoynikov made a report, became a profile event on the EPR.

Sergey Podoynikov presented the results achieved by EcoTyresUnion over the years of activity, outlined the ambiguous points in the concept of the Ministry of Nature to reform the EPR system. Sergey focused on the lack of correlation between the proposed creation of the EPR Fund, the introduction of a 100% recycling norm, the establishment of a 5-year moratorium and the solution of the main problem of EPR (according to the developers of the EPR Concept) – the presence of allegedly existing fake acts and unfair recycling companies. If such a problem exists, it should be addressed by strengthening the control of Rosprirodnadzor in relation to unfair recyclers, and not by prohibiting the independent EPR performance by responsible participants. Sergey expressed the negative attitude of EcoTyresUnion to the introduction of  100% recycling norm (the increase should be gradual) and the 5-year moratorium, which will not solve the existing problems, and will also worsen the current state of the waste recycling industry. Sergey paid special attention to the importance of categorizing waste and the need for industry regulation, since waste from the use of goods are different, and in foreign countries specialized legal regulation has been introduced in relation to such waste.

Suggestions for improving the EPR, identified by Sergey Podoynikov, are the following:

  1. maintain the current legal regulation in the field of EPR;

2. strengthen the control of Rosprirodnadzor over the actual recycling made by recycling companies:

  • transfer the reporting into a working electronic format;
  • possibility of cross-checks: waste generator-recycler-EPR responsible subject;
  • making changes to license requirements-revocation of the licence when fake volumes are detected;

3. establish the categorization of waste – the introduction of industry-specific laws, since goods and waste from their use are specific.