Monday, October 31, 2011

Albania to become European landfill.

Albania will soon adopt a law that will turn this country into a major European trashcan. The country that for centuries has been a black hole of Europe is not just planning to gather trash from the neighboring countries, but also make profit on its processing, counting on generous investment from the neighbors. Meanwhile, Europe has to pick up Albanian trash.

The Adriatic coast of Croatia is now cleaned by ships, divers and locals. The sea brought piles of garbage to the beaches of the Peljesac Peninsula and Mljet Island. We are talking about approximately 100 tons of municipal garbage, dead animals and cane. All this "goods" came to the coast after traveling down the river Bojana in Albania after the recent heavy rains in the region.

The trash on the streets of Tirana (and other places) is not removed but burned when the waste mountain grows to obscene proportions. The country with a long sea coastline cannot make money on tourism. Sheep, dogs and other domesticated animals digging in the mountains of garbage on Albanian beaches is a usual sight. However, a number of beaches used by the Europeans are maintained in order. 
The EU does not need such a trashcan of a country. In 2004, Italy agreed with the Albanian Government to build a waste incinerator 5 km from Tirana that burned up to 1,200 tons of Italian waste on a daily basis.

However, incinerators are known to heavily pollute the air and Tirana abandoned the idea of developing this area, not without the help of the outraged public.
The government said that it will not allow bringing toxic waste to Albania. The country acceded to the Basel Convention, which prohibits such practices. Therefore, the Albanians are going to import the regular garbage, and the transaction will be even signed by the Prime Minister, who will endorse each party, reported.

At the same time in Albania the new government idea did not meet unanimous support. The country applied for the EU membership in 2009. However, this year the European Commission in Tirana again refused even to receive candidate status, that is, stringent environmental regulations of the EU do not apply in this country.

The opponents of trash specialization of the country among the socialists say that building waste processing plants in four cities will not help to get rid of the Albanian trash, because their power will be occupied by recycling waste from all over Europe. In addition, some debris will be buried. They believe that the government succumbed to the pressure of the Italian mafia (controlling the trash business at home) and fear that the country would become a dumping ground for toxic waste.
 Albanian President Topi brought the law for reconsideration, but the government is confident that it will still be adopted.

The Russians also began to think about the need for the development of waste treatment. In June, "Russian Technologies" and "United Russia" announced the creation of "national operator for handling solid waste of municipal districts, industrial waste from GC" Russian Technologies ", and third parties."

So far this association exists only on paper. Yet, the creation by the government of the rules of the game easy for the refiners is one of the key factors in the successful development of a very opaque industry and improving of its environmental and economic performance. Russia buries virtually 100% of its waste. In the EU, a good indicator is considered 20%.

Anatoly Miranovsky


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