Due to the Cabinet of Ministers' failure to comply with the requirements of Law No. 2320-IX "On Waste Management," there are currently no licensed hazardous waste disposal companies in Ukraine, and businesses cannot dispose of this type of waste legally.
The collapse of the hazardous waste market creates a risk of complicating the sanitary and epidemiological situation, increasing the level of fire danger and increasing the number of illegal dumpsites with such waste, says Olena Kryvoruchkina, MP from the Servant of the People faction and deputy chairman of the Parliamentary Environmental Committee.
It is noted that the Law "On Waste Management", which came into force on July 9, 2023, provides for obtaining new licenses for hazardous waste management within six months, that is, until January 9, 2024.
However, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the Resolution "On Approval of the Licensing Conditions for Conducting Economic Activities for Hazardous Waste Management" only on December 5, which is almost 5 months late. Companies had only 1 month and 4 days to obtain licenses, although this period should be at least 2 months.
"The blatant violation by the Cabinet of Ministers of the deadlines for the development of by-laws for the regulatory regulation of hazardous waste management led to the collapse of this market. Today, there is not a single licensed company in Ukraine that has the right to provide such services," Kryvoruchkina emphasized.
She explained that such a situation carries a complex of risks, in particular:
- complication of the sanitary-epidemiological situation due to the need to store medical waste. For example, body parts can be disposed of by the only enterprise in Ukraine, Kyiv Crematorium, which also does not have the necessary license, and certain medical waste cannot be stored for more than one day;
- increase in the level of fire danger due to the accumulation of spent fuel and lubricants;
- increase in the number of unauthorized landfills of hazardous waste due to the fact that the business does not have the opportunity to store certain waste for a long time.
Kryvoruchkina added that this situation in the market creates a risk of monopolization.
At the meeting of the Environmental Committee, the MPs decided to appeal to the Prosecutor General's Office, the National Police, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, and the State Environmental Inspectorate to clarify all the details of this situation.
It is worth noting that the meeting also raised the issue of responsibility for such artificial obstacles to the operation of the hazardous waste market and its collapse. The environmental community also fears the development of corruption in the industry.
In addition, representatives of the Ministry of Ecology stated that they plan to resolve this critical situation only through enhanced work on pre-licensing inspection and issuance of licenses.
Earlier, EcoPolitic wrote, that the European Business Association called on the government to urgently take measures for resumption of work companies in the field of hazardous waste management.
As EcoPolitic previously reported, in December the Association of Environmental Professionals (PAEW) called on the authorities to avoid a collapse in the hazardous waste market, which will happen as early as 2024 due to the impossibility of issuing licenses.