NALED’s youngest alliance is ambitiously dedicated to creating better conditions for collecting and recycling different types of waste, improving wastewater management and reforming the tax and fee system in the area of environmental protection
Formed towards the end of 2019, the Environmental Protection Alliance already has 46 members, including companies, local governments and associations interested in systematic solutions in a very complex area – ecology. Reform of the tax and fee system for environmental protection, waste management, wastewater management, food waste and special waste and promotion of the circular economy are among its priority aims. Almost all of these aims are listed in Grey Book recommendations, proving their importance, with wastewater management among the 10 priority aims.
Our partner in these activities is the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), which supports us on three projects. The most recent is the project Increasing the Recycling Rate of Batteries and Bulbs in the Republic of Serbia. In this project we are encouraging institutions to introduce incentives for recycling batteries, and establishing a more efficient system for collecting such waste and increasing recycling by 20%.
In the project to improve food waste management, we are developing a food waste collection system. In the Grey Book, we have suggested changing the regulatory framework to make it obligatory for anyone preparing more than 50 meals a day to hand food waste to a food waste collector for safe disposal.
In the project Glass Packaging Management in the Western Balkans, we are aiming to increasing the glass recycling rate in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia by 20%. In Serbia, the project is implemented in Sombor, Niš, Kragujevac and Varvarin, where we have set up a total of 600 skips (bell-shaped recycling bins).
Almost all NALED activities in environmental protection are listed in the Grey Book recommendations, which proves their importance, and wastewater management is among the 10 priority aims
We have provided guidelines for improving electric and electronic waste management in the Grey Book, by advocating for a system of extended economic responsibility.
Finally, our Alliance is actively engaged in defining the best model for packaging waste management, and we are currently working on a study for which we hired a well-known consultancy from Great Britain. The study should come up with the best combination for Serbia of a smart deposit return system and the existing extended producer responsibility system, considering economic, social and environmental protection factors.
In the accession negotiations with the EU, environmental protection stands out as the area requiring the greatest investment. One of the long-standing recommendations of the Grey Book is to establish a functional Green Fund that would help projects at both state and local level.
The wastewater management system will undoubtedly be the most expensive. Through the Public-Private Development Dialogue project supported by USAID, we have pointed to great investment needs for the sewerage network and wastewater treatment plants, for which we shall have to reach out to international funds and work on cleaning up our own back yard by boosting the inspection of wastewater management and preparing companies and local governments for their future obligations.
Those who pollute most will face the greatest financial burden. Current tax and compensation policies do not stimulate any efforts to reduce pollution. For this reason, we have prepared a strategy to stimulate polluters to make great efforts to reduce harmful emissions, particularly for vehicles and poisonous gas emissions from industrial facilities.