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Empowering Our Communities To Redesign

Zero Waste progress in Romania

The tireless work of Zero Waste Romania, recently won many victories, here they share some of their achievements. To find our more get in contact via their Facebook page or email them directly. In the coming weeks we will be looking at other stories of zero waste practices in Central & Eastern Europe.

Iasi, the first big municipality in Romania to adopt the zero waste strategy

The city of Iasi has joined the “Zero Waste Municipality” international network and become the biggest city in Romania, with a population of over 350 000 inhabitants, that engaged to adopt the zero waste methodology with proven impact in other over 350 cities across Europe, in facilitating the transition towards circular economy.

The affiliation process started in September 2016, when Mihai Chirica, the mayor of Iasi, signed a formal engagement letter and organized a task force group with all the main actors involved in the waste management at local level from the waste operator, local Police and NGOs to the Ministry of Environment.

Mihai Chirica, Mayor of Iasi

The first solutions which are to be adopted in local legislation are the following:

  • separate collection at source of three types of waste: recyclables, compostable/biowaste and residual waste. The source collection will be programmed on different days for each type of waste category and the biowaste will be composted or converted in biogas;
  • introduction of the  “Pay as you Throw” system;

Funding is also being sought for the extension of the existing Municipal Waste Collection Center with a repair and resale center for furniture, textiles, electronics and construction waste, a pioneering initiative in Romania.

The “zero waste” methodology has been adopted by 40 other small communities and cities including Targu Lapus, the first Romanian city to adopt the strategy in 2014.

PAYT legislation in Romania

In October 2016, Romania included in the waste framework legislation the “Pay as you Throw” instrument to be implemented at national level, whenever it is technically and economically viable following the 2008/98/EC recommended language. Even if not mandatory, this event marks a historical milestone in the battle for an improved waste management system still based mostly on landfilling and opened the door to municipalities to adopt the instrument in local legislation and modify their commercial contract with the waste operator.  The first city in progress to adopt PAYT is Iasi (+350 000 inhabitants), followed by Oradea (+250 000 inhabitants) which will be announced in April 2017.

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