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Sustainable Waste Management Act

The Croatian Parliament passed on its session of 15-07-2013 the Sustainable Waste Management Act (OG 94/13) (hereinafter: "the Act"), which entered into force on 23-07-2013.

The Act stipulates and regulates the system and accountabilities in the waste management, particularly municipal waste through the commitment of units of local government and self-government and, among other things, the system of collection of special categories of waste and the transboundary movement of waste.

In order to achieve the goal of this Act, the biggest obligations and responsibilities are given to the units of local self-governments. They have the duty to ensure separate collection of municipal waste by setting up recycling yards, the adoption and implementation of a waste management plan of the unit, as well as the implementation of education-information activities.

Collecting Municipal Waste

The most important activity which the unit of local self-government is required to provide is the public service of collecting mixed and biodegradable municipal waste which has so far been regulated by the Utilities Act. The service involves the collection of the said waste in a particular area through tanks from individual users and transporting of that waste to an authorized person for its processing.

This service can be provided by:

  1. A company established by a unit of a local self-government
  2. Public institution established by a unit of a local self-government
  3. Legal entity and natural person based on a concession contract for up to 10 years

The representative body of the unit of local self-government passes a decision on the method of providing the public services, which includes:

  1. criteria for calculating the amount of waste
  2. standard size and other important features of the container for waste collection
  3. the lowest frequency of waste transport to certain areas
  4. accounting periods throughout the calendar year
  5. general terms of the contract with users of the service

In order to perform the service, the service provider must:

  1. meet the requirements for the transport of such a type and quantity of waste that he collects
  2. deliver the collected waste to the person who possesses the appropriate license
  3. bear all costs of managing the collected waste
  4. dispose with the necessary financial, human and technical resources necessary to perform prescribed tasks

The fee for the waste disposal for each user is determined by the service provider. The fee is determined in proportion to the amount of delivered waste in the accounting period where the criteria of the amount of waste in accounting period is a mass of delivered waste or storage volume of the waste tanks and the number of tanks emptying.

Collection and Processing of Special Categories of Waste

Furthermore, the Act established a system of collection and processing of special categories of waste managed by the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund (hereinafter: "the Fund"). Among the most important categories are:

  • bio waste
  • motor oil
  • construction waste (containing asbestos)
  • waste vehicles
  • waste batteries and accumulators
  • waste electric and electronic devices
  • packaging waste

Waste Collection

The Fund draws up a proposal of areas of collecting certain special categories of waste, based on which the competent minister passes a decision on particular waste collection areas. Thereafter, the Fund publishes a public call for the submission of the program for performing a service of collection of special categories of waste. In addition to the said program, the following should be enclosed: (i) licence for the performance of activity of collecting certain special categories of waste, (ii) extract from the court or crafts register, (iii) operating work program, (iv) the elaboration and (v) evidence of meeting the following conditions:

  • disposing with the necessary number and professional profile of workers to realize the operating work program
  • disposing with the necessary financial means or sources for realization of the operating work program
  • disposing with the necessary storage space, staff, transportation vehicles and necessary additional equipment to ensure the collection and transportation of the collected waste from the manufacturer to the warehouse
  • offered amount of costs for the activity of collecting certain special categories of waste

The most preferred bidder is selected, and the providing of the service may be assigned for a period of up to 5 years.

Waste processing

A person who intends to enter into an agreement with the Fund to perform a waste processing service of certain special categories of waste needs to obtain an authorization from the competent ministry, which publishes a public call for submission of applications for the said authorization.

The authorization is given for a period of 10 years and is issued to a person who meets the following conditions:

  1. to dispose with a plant and equipment complying with the relevant technical and technological requirements for the processing and disposal of waste
  2. the plant and equipment can handle the amount of waste that is assumed to occur on the territory of the Republic of Croatia, according to available official data on the quantities of waste produced in the last three years
  3. to have an annual operating work program
  4. to dispose with the necessary number and professional profile of workers to realize the annual operating work program.

Waste Management

The Act provides the following waste management activities:

  1. the activity of waste collection by process of waste collection and emergency waste collection, and activities of recycling, disposing or other waste processing
  2. intermediation activities in waste management, trading with waste, waste transportation or waste collection by process of collecting waste in the recycling yard
  3. process of storage of its own production waste or energy recycling of its own non-hazardous waste

For carrying out the activities from item 1, any legal entity or a natural person - a craftsman, must obtain the appropriate license, while for other activities it is necessary to be registered in a specific register kept by the Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection.

The license for waste management determines:

  1. that the applicant is registered for performing the activity for which he is applying
  2. that he disposes with a building for which a document was issued allowing the use of it
  3. that he employs persons who fulfil the conditions stipulated by a special regulation
  4. that the elaboration of waste management is made in accordance with the Act
  5. that environmental impact assessment was conducted
  6. that he disposes with insurance against damage that may occur as a result of waste management
  7. compliance of the request with the provisions of the Waste Management Plan of the Republic of Croatia adopted by the Croatian Government.

In order to perform a test run, according to a special regulation governing construction activity, on the request of the legal entity or natural person - a craftsman competent authority may issue a temporary license.

Transboundary Movement of Waste

Considering the entry into the EU, and the globalization in general, it was very important to regulate the transboundary movement of waste which is subject to Regulation (EC) no. 1013/2006 of the European Parliament and the Council on shipments of waste.

It is prohibited to import hazardous waste and mixed municipal waste for energy purposes use. Also, it is desired to have better monitoring over the import/export of waste that is not subject to the notification procedure and there is the obligation of entering of such waste into the appropriate registers, while submitting: (i) evidence of registration for the relevant commercial activity, (ii) a list of waste type for which registration is sought in the register according to the waste key numbers in accordance with the European Waste Catalogue and waste codes, (iii) for the importer of waste, evidence that he owns a license for the recycling of waste which he wants to import if he is a recycling operator or evidence about the status of a trader or a broker, and (iv) for the exporter of waste, evidence that he owns a license for waste collection which he wants to export or that he is a waste producer, trader or broker.

Importers/exporters of waste which is subject to the notification procedure, must obtain by a written request the approval of the ministry for the transboundary movement of waste, and they will, along with the notice of shipments of waste - notification, need to enclose all contracts with the recipient, or waste recycling operator, as well as the bank guarantees to cover damages and shipments and also the waste transport routes. Upon approval, the applicant is obligated to announce each dispatch of the waste shipment to the competent authorities of the countries of departure, transit and destination three working days before the dispatch of the shipment via facsimile or electronic mail.

In addition to the administrative and inspectional monitoring on the implementation of this Act, there is also a waste management information system as a kind of monitoring on the implementation and management of the overall waste management system on the territory of the Republic of Croatia. In this system, exist various applications such as those for the operation of the registry of management of specific category of waste, for the transboundary movement of waste, and it also contains electronic register of the origin and course of waste (e-onto).

The Act aims to establish a high standard of waste disposal equal to that of the EU, with great responsibilities of units of local self-governments. As the successful implementation of this system will require investment of larger financial funds from units of local self-government, and given the poor financial situation of most local self-governments, we hope that leaders of these units will know how to attract the necessary funds from interested investors.

11.12.2013. at 8:00

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