Integrated waste management for Arad County
A new integrated solid waste management system for Arad County in west Romania will benefit all 458,000 inhabitants in the county as well as contributing to Romania’s efforts to meet the obligations agreed when it entered the EU.
The system will incorporate waste separation, collection, transport, transfer and treatment, including recycling and composting, and is supported by an upgraded institutional framework. Meanwhile, existing but non-compliant urban landfills and rural dumpsites will be closed and treated.
Out with the old and in with the new
The project includes a number of different steps, including the ‘set up’ of new systems and the closure and rehabilitation of outdated ones. The ‘set up’ steps include the attainment of collecting equipment for domestic, commercial, industrial and institutional waste (including containers and hauling vehicles) and the construction of four transfer stations, one sorting line and two composting plants. Simultaneously, there will be a lot of work done on the closure and rehabilitation of landfills and dumpsites, including closing and rehabilitating eight urban landfills and 67 rural dumpsites, completely closing two urban landfills, and closing and cleaning up 46 rural dumpsites.
On another level, the project includes public awareness campaigns to reduce waste and encourage recycling at the source.
Achieving a 100% collection rate
The project will have a dramatic impact on waste collection rates, particularly in rural areas. It expects to bring the collection rate for mixed waste up to 100% for both the urban and rural population, as opposed to the 93% urban rate and 15% rural rate recorded in 2008.
With the threat of illegal dumping removed, health risks for the population will also be reduced and hygiene standards and the quality of the environment will be improved.
From a financial point of view, a reliable and compliant solid waste management system will make the Arad area a more attractive place to invest in. Additionally, the project is expected to directly mobilise 186 jobs during the implementation phase and 51 during the operational phase.
From an environmental perspective, the new system will allow the entire population of the county to properly dispose of municipal waste, some of which can be later composted or recycled, leading to a reduction in illegal dumping.
The awareness campaign will contribute to reducing the amount of waste produced. Meanwhile, with biogas being introduced as a substitute for energy otherwise produced from fossil sources, it is hoped that a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions will also be achieved.