Serbia has started a thorough cleaning of hazardous industrial waste

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In Serbia, a thorough clean-up of hazardous industrial waste generated in the 2000s in factories in bankruptcy or in the privatization process has begun, much of which has not been adequately disposed of.
According to the announcement of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the waste will be disposed of according to world standards, but successively. It is estimated that the entire mission will last at least 10 years, said the head of the Center for Circular Economy of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Sinisa Mitrovic.
“The last estimate made in 2014 was that more than 350,000 tons of industrial and hazardous waste are in bankrupt companies, and what is especially worrying is that these are locations in urban areas. Some have been partially privatized, but in any case, they represent a danger to the safety and health of citizens,” Mitrovic pointed out.
According to expert estimates, the waste is distributed in about 70 locations across the country. So far, thousands of tons of waste from the former battery and pneumatic factories, the field of mechanization, electronic and chemical industries have been disposed of. The determination of the state to reduce hazardous historical waste is not zero.
“It is estimated that Serbia could draw the line and say – that we have now removed industrial waste from urban areas. For that, at least 500 million euros should be allocated annually, so that this process can function and be sustainable,” said Mitrovic.
A big problem for Serbia is the lack of an adequate facility for the treatment of such waste, which would be transparent, controlled and safe, as well as the difficult export of such waste for treatment, due to strict EU rules.
“You still generate almost 80,000 tons annually. In addition to historical, you have active production that generates industrial hazardous waste, which practically sends the message that private capital is necessary to be one of the bearers of these solutions or a model of public-private partnership between state and private capital. A sustainable plant at the location of the Prahovo chemical park in eastern Serbia is planned, which with a capacity of 80,000 tons per year could help take care of this process,” Mitrovic added.
The authorities in Serbia are aware that removing such waste from attractive locations for industry would increase the competitiveness of the economy and enable the unhindered arrival of additional foreign investments, Beta reports.