Ministry of Environment has failed the reform on hazardous waste disposal – StopCor facebook.com/groups/kovelline

Ministry of Environment has failed the reform on hazardous waste disposal – StopCor

Anna Velyka

This caused a crisis in the market and doubled the price of the services of specialized companies

The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine failed to ensure that all the necessary bylaws to the Law of Ukraine "On Waste Management" were prepared. This prevented companies engaged in hazardous waste disposal from being licensed in a timely manner and created a shadow market for these services. Therefore, business enterprises and medical institutions were deprived of the opportunity to legally dispose of this type of waste.

These are the conclusions of StopCor's analysts.

The crisis in the hazardous waste treatment market was caused by the late development of rules and mechanisms for reforming this segment of economic activity by the Ministry of Environment and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

As a result, from January 9 to February 1, 2024, there were no entities in the hazardous waste market at all. And as of February 13, only two out of more than 200 companies had received licenses. Therefore, according to experts, since the beginning of February 2024, the hazardous waste disposal market has been monopolized due to the tiny share of companies licensed in this area.

And monopolization, in turn, led to an increase in the price of services. The first to increase their price – from UAH 26/kg to UAH 56/kg – NVK "Ukrekoprom" LLC, which serves hospitals and medical institutions, that is, their prices have doubled compared to the beginning of this year. This has become an almost unbearable financial burden for these institutions , because they are financed from the budget, and do not have the opportunity to pay for such expensive waste removal services.

In order for the company to obtain a license, the officials of the Ministry of Environment conduct an inspection of the compliance of its material and technical base with the requirements, which to date are fixed only in the Technological requirements for the conduct of economic activity. However, these inspections are carried out in violation of procedures.

As of May 13, 2024, only 17 companies appear in the Register of Hazardous Waste Management Licensees.

The activity of the "advertised" program "EkoSystema" also causes serious concern among experts and market players. It was conceived as a national online platform containing all relevant information about the state of the environment. But in practice, this program makes it difficult for business entities to enter their data properly due to constant technical problems. In addition, it is currently unable to cope with the amount of information and data that are trying to be fed into it.

We will remind you that the Association of Environmental Professionals (PAEW) warned about a possible crisis in the hazardous waste management market, which will arise due to the impossibility of issuing licenses, at the end of last year. The reason for this situation was the fact that the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted the resolution "On the approval of the "License conditions for conducting business activities on hazardous waste management" 5 months later than expected. Thus, companies from 6 months, which Law No. 2320-IX "About "waste management" refers to the preparation of new documents, only one remains.

In January the European Business Association (EBA) also called on the government to take urgent measures to restore the work of companies in the field of hazardous waste management, because from January 9, 2024, the previous licenses for conducting economic activities in the management of hazardous waste "lost" their validity.

In February, experts of the Association of Environmental Professionals noted that the hazardous waste management market has been in chaos for almost 1.5 months, as the entire industry has been in the "shadow".

As EcoPolitic reported, as of the end of March of this year, only 9 companies in Ukraine received licenses to carry out economic activities for the management of hazardous waste, 6 of which are narrowly targeted or issued for the enterprises' own needs. Most Ukrainian hazardous waste processing enterprises have lost their licenses.

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