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Mayors should undertake steps for building new facility at least three years before the capacity of the existing landfill is over
May 12, 2010

The National Assembly adopted at the sitting dated 12 May 2010, on second reading amendments to the Waste Management Act. The latter stipulate that mayors should take steps to select contractors and carry out feasibility studies for the construction of new facilities at least three years before the termination of an old landfill or installation for waste management. The mayor of the municipality can take action individually, or together with the other municipalities using the same waste depot.

MPs have decided that regional systems for waste management are put in place to achieve its effective treatment. Municipalities, members of the regional waste management association, shall determine among themselves the ownership of the regional facility for waste treatment. Owner may be the municipality, which owns the land; or the facility could be jointly owned by the local members of the association; it could be owned jointly by the private institution providing the funds for the installation and the municipality which owns the land or by all the members of the association. The price, per ton, for treating waste received at the regional waste depot is the same for all members of the regional association and it can not be part of the association’s profit. Municipality which is not participating in the regional system for waste management can use the facility, on terms and prices set by the regional association, the parliament adopted.

The National Assembly voted to adopt new taxes for the waste depots’ owners. They will be required to make monthly contributions to a special account set by the Regional Inspectorate for Protection of Waters and Environment. The accumulated funds will be used for post closure activities of the terminated depots.

The bill further elaborates on the setting up of a national scheme for green investments, which is to facilitate Bulgaria in the international trade with greenhouse gas emissions. The amendments to the Environmental Protection Act, adopted at first reading, create the legal basis for the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. The bill tabled by the Council of Ministers was approved unanimously by the parliament. It provides that funds from the sale of gas emissions will be spent on their future reduction. The sale contract of the emissions will be negotiated by three ministries – of Finance, Environment and Water, Economy Energy and Tourism and the contract will be signed after approval of the Council of Ministers.

The funds, accumulated from the national scheme for green investments will be managed separately from the state budget into an extra-budgetary account managed by the Ministry of Finance. The National Trust EcoFund will govern the implementation of the Green Investment Scheme. It will not run the spending of the money itself but will approve the activities on environmental protection to be financed.
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