Source: eKapija | Friday, 23.11.2018.| 10:03
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Recycling industry faces closing due to unpaid processed hazardous waste – Thousands of jobs could be lost

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Illustration (Photo: kanvag/shutterstock.com)
For three years now, the Ministry of Environmental Protection of Serbia has been setting aside less money for the Green Fund for the treatment of hazardous waste than is processed annually.

If, in 2019, the Government of Serbia fails to secure funds to pay for the processed waste from 2018, the operators will be forced to close their facilities and fire several thousand workers. If this happens, 70,000 tons of waste will start piling up in Serbia each year.

Since the beginning of 2018, recyclers have processed over 68,000 tons of hazardous waste. If the ministry decides to pay for only 70% of the processed amounts, that is, if the waste budget remains at RSD 2.2 billion, over 20 million kilograms of the processed waste will not be paid for, for the third year in a row. At an emergency session held on Tuesday, November 20, 2018, the Recyclers Association of Serbia reached the decision to close the facilities and stop processing waste beginning with January 2019.

-- Banks simply don’t want to fund the processing of hazardous waste instead of the state and we are forced to close the facilities and fire workers. Over 1,000 companies make up the system and its collapse will jeopardize the health of the nation, which can’t be compensated for later due to the scope of the damage. The Ministry of Environmental Protection, headed by Goran Trivan, has been actively supporting the fight against illegal landfills and the disposal of hazardous waste throughout the year. The problem cannot be swept away. We need to charge for the waste processed in order to go on. We’ve run out of time and money when it comes to paying employees their salaries. We can’t pay for the fuel for the trucks which are used to collect waste, let alone for the processing of waste itself. We invite Minister Trivan to take action immediately – the Recyclers Association of Serbia says.

They add that polluters paid eco fees in the amount of RSD 10 billion in 2018 and that the decision not to use the money to pay for the treatment is disastrous, because the environmental disasters that happened last year will happen again, this time on an even greater scale.

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