Better waste management in Hungary’s South Great Plain region

Modern waste management solutions have been provided for 370 700 people in 86 towns and villages in the Békés and Csongrád counties of Hungary’s South Great Plain region. They cater for municipal solid waste – everyday items discarded by the public. The system meets EU and Hungarian waste collection and selection targets and cuts the amount of waste ending up in landfill from 86 to 40 %.

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A central waste management site was developed at Békéscsaba, the area’s biggest city. Four waste transfer stations were set up at Szentes, Orosháza, Makó and Szeghalom.

A sorting plant and mechanical and biological treatment facility was built at Békéscsaba to treat recycled, biodegradable and mixed waste from kerbside collections, including that compacted at transfer stations. It includes mechanical and optical separators, and has a capacity of 120 000 and 30 000 tonnes a year for mechanical and biological treatment respectively.

Mechanical treatment produces materials that can be reused, while biological treatment cuts landfill use for biodegradable waste. The sensor-based sorting technology makes it easier to separate recyclables from mixed municipal solid waste so as to make recycled material of two different quality levels, which is then sold.

New composting machinery

Existing facilities were integrated into the system and improved as necessary. Machinery in composting plants at Gyula, Dévaványa, Szentes, Orosháza, Makó and Békéscsaba was upgraded to treat green waste. One high-capacity and four small mobile shredders, a turning machine, three telescopic handlers, four wheel loaders and a mobile drum screen were purchased. Distribution of 30 000 home composting bins in residential areas was accompanied by an awareness raising campaign aimed at reducing waste.

Nine waste yards were opened for bulky and hazardous waste at Makó, Mezőhegyes, Orosháza, Szentes, Szeghalom, Gyula, Vésztő, Kunágota and Dévaványa. Nine roll-off container vehicles and 60 containers were bought for use in the waste yards and transfer stations. Other vehicles purchased included thirty 22 m³ and five 16 m³ refuse collection vehicles, as well as one with a bin washing system, four trailers and a tow truck for transporting recyclables, and an excavator and three fork-lift trucks for the sorting plant and treatment facility.

Kerbside collections and household bins

Kerbside collections were introduced for all 170 000 households in the area to increase selective waste collection. For this, 154 000 bins were purchased, of which 4 000 are for large dwellings such as blocks of flats and have a capacity of 1 100 l, and 150 000 are for single-family houses and have capacities from 60 to 240 l.

Recycling points were standardised and now only collect glass, and external roads were built at Békéscsaba and Szeghalom, each covering an area of 6 000 m². A radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip system was introduced to identify users and charge them according to the amount of waste they produce. A total of 35 RFID systems were fitted to vehicles, and 308 000 RFID user identification tags were bought.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Development of the South-East Great Plain Regional Waste Management System” is EUR 51 816 291, with the EU’s Cohesion Fund contributing EUR 37 470 759 through the “Environment and Energy” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.

Draft date