Waste Management of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) is always a challenge for the local authorities. It is a composite problem with economical, environmental, social and political influences.

The legislative framework for solid waste management in Greece and Bulgaria is mainly based on the EU legislation. Both countries are binded to EU commitments to recycle packaging material and other products and to decrease biodegradable waste and other urban solid waste that are landfilled. The only way for the rational management of waste is the recycling, the minimization of waste production, the separate treatment of each “current” (so-called) of waste and the disposal of the residues in the landfills.
The Waste Management Authority of Eastern Macedonia – Thrace (EM-Th) is obliged to operate the Waste Management System serving 22 Municipalities (population ~610.000). Some years ago, over 300 dumps were open across Region of EM-Th. Today the majority of them are closed, but there are still some dumps open. With the completion of the infrastructures, the places for the final disposal of waste will be appropriate, according to the National and the European Law.

The Bulgarian Regional Association “For Cleaner Rhodopi” has 8 Municipalities – members (population 160.000) and is responsible for the protection of the environment from solid waste. Leader Municipality is the one of Kardzali. The construction of a Regional Centre for Waste Management for the 8 members will be completed by the end of 2013.
The challenge is to start-up the operation of the Greek system, in order to finally optimize the System operation and to transfer the experience to the Bulgarian side for setting it up as soon as possible.

For the treatment of Municipal Solid waste, a number of methods (such as composting, recycling etc) are being used prior to their final disposal in sanitary landfills. In the EU27, the participation rate of each treatment method in all countries is being presented in the following chart.

EU27 2011 waste management

Brief Presentation of the Project

The Waste Management Authority of Eastern Macedonia–Thrace took the initiative to investigate the problem of waste management in the cross border area in cooperation with regional public au-thorities. The main objective of the project is to accelerate the operation of the existing (in Greece) and under completion in the next year (in Bulgaria) infrastructure for the Integrated Mu-nicipal Solid Waste Management Systems and their optimization (the two systems cover a Greek Region and an area larger than one Bulgarian Prefecture). A significant objective is also the public awareness for reducing and recycling of the waste and the exchange of experience between the two systems. In addition, the project will accelerate the implementation of the Directive 2008/98/EC on almost the entire length across the Greek-Bulgarian border, leaving no additional expenditure to 30 Municipalities, compared with their current costs. Last but not least, the pro-ject will greatly contribute to dealing with the heavy environmental problems and the environmen-tal pollution in urban areas and will trigger integration of technology regarding waste manage-ment by promoting recycling not only to enterprises but to citizens as well.

  Lead Partner Waste ManagementAuthority of EasternMacedonia-Thrace S.A.
  Project Partner 2 Regional Association“For Cleaner Rhodopi”
  Project Partner 3 Municipality of Kardzhali

Project Info