In light of the newly created, very unpleasant situation with the Karepovac landfill that affected Split, but also the surrounding towns and villages, we must clarify the context of the intended construction of a new regional Waste Management Center in Lećevica.
Namely, it is extremely important to understand that it is necessary to fully accept all modern principles of waste management, and above all to take very seriously the order of priority of waste management prescribed by the Sustainable Waste Management Act (OG 94/13, 73/17). Without that, Lećevica, but also any other Waste Management Center will not become anything other than a new, more modern landfill, and as a company we will bear financial sanctions from the European Union for failure to reduce total waste and ensure its separate collection.
The Law on Sustainable Waste Management defines the order of priority of waste management and stipulates that in order to prevent the generation of waste and the application of regulations and policies of waste management, the order of priority of waste management is applied as follows:
preparation for reuse,
other recovery procedures (energy recovery)
We, as Sunce, believe that the planned project for the construction of the Lećevica Waste Management Center, ie its amendments, are not in line with the obligations arising from the above Law and EU directives, especially regarding the estimated capacities of the Center which did not take into account collection of municipal waste by January 1, 2020. and the implementation of priorities in waste management (ie the order of priority), the planned composting of appropriate capacities within the Center and adequate technology for the treatment of mixed municipal waste.
The focus is on the establishment of the Center for the Treatment of Mixed Municipal Waste and the production of fuel from waste, ie on the last two steps in waste management, (energy) recovery and disposal. In the last ten years, all other steps and priorities in waste management, such as the construction of sorting plants, the establishment of a system of separate waste collection in cities and municipalities, the construction of composting plants, the encouragement of waste avoidance and reuse, have been systematically neglected. The measures can be found in the Waste Management Plan of the Split-Dalmatia County for the period from 2007 to 2015.
It is also important to note that part of the treated waste in the Center will be disposed of, part separated, and part produced fuel from waste (GIO). The size of the landfill in the Center is projected for the next 20 years. By separating the useful components from the already mixed municipal waste, it is not possible to achieve a sufficient quality of the separated fraction, which will have a higher value on the market. It is also important to point out that it is necessary to find interest in the market for GIO. One of the options is the use of this fuel in cement plants, however, previous research has proven to have a markedly adverse impact on the health of the population living in the environment of cement plants using GIOs.
Furthermore, the collection of waste treatment in the Center for Waste Management will be done according to the amount of delivered mixed municipal waste. Thus, waste treatment is many times more expensive than it is today when in most cities and municipalities in the Republic of Croatia waste is only disposed of in non-compliant landfills. Therefore, the citizens of municipalities and cities that will produce large quantities of mixed municipal waste expect a multiple increase in the costs of its treatment and disposal, which is why it is in the interest of each municipality to reduce the amount of waste to be treated in the Center by its separate collection and recycling.
What we consider a priority for islands, but also for cities and municipalities on the mainland, is composting biowaste. Namely, biowaste accounts for approximately 30% of municipal waste and its separation significantly reduces the amount of municipal waste. Also, the remaining fraction is less contaminated and it is easier to organize the separation of other useful raw materials such as glass, metal or plastic. In the area of islands, in rural areas and in cities that have a large number of households with gardens, it is extremely important to encourage the production of their own garden compost bins.
Additionally, from a sustainability point of view, this project is extremely questionable as it involves very high transport costs for the transport of mixed municipal waste from all parts of the county, including the islands. Also, the location of the Centre is questionable from the environmental aspect, since it is planned in the karst area above the watercourses that are the source of drinking water for drinking for most of the county’s residents.
Furthermore, the Centre’s project is based on a Feasibility Study prepared in August 2015. which despite numerous inquiries has never been presented to the public and the interested public. Sunce Association requested the study back in March 2016, but the Regional Center for a Clean Environment rejected its request.