Important Planning Document Adopted for the First Time – Program of Managing Sludge in Serbia

Source: eKapija Friday, 29.09.2023. 11:47
Illustration (Photo: hxdyl/
At its session, the Government of Serbia adopted the Program of Managing Sludge in the Republic of Serbia for 2022-2032. The aim of this important planning document which is adopted in Serbia for the first time is to establish a safe, sustainable and cost-effective system of the management of the sludge from municipal waste water treatment facilities, according to the website of the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

According to this document, the solving of the issue of sludge management will be in line with the principles of circular economy and EU regulations, and the aim is to ensure the usage of sludge as a resource over a longer time period. That is especially important considering that the amount of sludge is expected to increase in the whole territory of Serbia, it is added.

The approach applied in the Program, which was prepared by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, is reflected in the formulation of short-term and long-term options which will contribute to the solving of the issue of treating the sludge that is a byproduct of the waste water treatment process. The short-term and long-term measures are defined taking into account the projection that the amount of sludge in the whole territory of the country will increase due to the planned construction of a large number of municipal waste water treatment facilities.

The short-term measures envisaged by the document are: the usage of sludge for agricultural purposes, if it has first been composted, digested and stabilized and if the heavy metals content etc. is in line with the regulations; usage in the cement industry, in thermal power plants and the disposal of sludge at industrial landfills, ash landfills, tailings ponds and abandoned mining facilities. The disposal of sludge at municipal waste landfills with the securing of special sanitary cassettes meant for this type of waste is also planned.

The long-term measures entail the establishment of an efficient and long-term sustainable system and infrastructure for the treatment, usage and the final disposal of sludge by using the best available technologies and good practice. To that end, the document envisages a long-term concept of the regional management of the sludge from waste water treatment facilities, which encompasses the construction of regional centers for sludge management, its usage for the recultivation of devastated locations, as well as the thermal treatment of sludge, by drying the sludge etc.

In order for the Program of Managing Sludge in the Republic of Serbia for 2022-2032 to be implemented, the Action Plan for 2023-2027, which determines activities for realizing the goals of the Program, has been prepared. The Action Plan envisages the deadlines, the carriers and the partners, as well as the financial funds and sources of finance for the implementation of the determined activities.

The adoption of this planning document is an important step toward a sustainable and responsible management of sludge in the Republic of Serbia in the coming decade, it has been concluded.

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