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Waste management in Zabrze: Pathways to a More Sustainable System

Charles, Bernice LU ; Moser, Cornelia; Sawaki, Chihiro and Steinvig, Caroline (2011)
Abstract
Zabrze is a medium size town of 200 000 inhabitants in the region of Upper Silesia, Poland. The development of the town was originally based on the exploitation of heavy industries. In the past few years Zabrze has, however, moved towards more service and tourism oriented industries. As part of this journey, the city of Zabrze sees the need to improve its existing waste management system. This report provides possible pathways to reduce municipal solid waste and help Zabrze on its path to become a more sustainable city.

In Poland, it is at present not clear who is responsible for municipal waste unlike in Sweden where responsibility lies in the hand of municipalities. Additionally, environmental awareness and understanding for... (More)
Zabrze is a medium size town of 200 000 inhabitants in the region of Upper Silesia, Poland. The development of the town was originally based on the exploitation of heavy industries. In the past few years Zabrze has, however, moved towards more service and tourism oriented industries. As part of this journey, the city of Zabrze sees the need to improve its existing waste management system. This report provides possible pathways to reduce municipal solid waste and help Zabrze on its path to become a more sustainable city.

In Poland, it is at present not clear who is responsible for municipal waste unlike in Sweden where responsibility lies in the hand of municipalities. Additionally, environmental awareness and understanding for recycling in the Polish population is very low. As a result, the existing system faces many challenges such as extensive illegal dumping, poor waste separation, mixed waste containing hazardous material, inefficient collection, poor waste collection coverage, loopholes, lack of enforcement and fraudulent waste reporting. Other issues are the lack of funding for infrastructural improvements and for educational and informational campaigns. The city also faces the challenge that many factors such as the introduction of a new waste law, EU fines and targets, producer responsibility and deposit systems need to be approached on a national level.

The looming change in waste law which will hand-over responsibility of municipal waste to municipalities is a particular challenge for the city of Zabrze. The uncertainty on the timeframe and implementation leads to insecurity on how to finance and adapt the waste management system. Another challenge is the weak collaboration within the region of Upper Silesia not allowing for strong regional solutions and lobbying on a national level. On the positive side, waste management can comprise potentials for the city, especially with regards to funding for waste management projects and educational campaigns from the EU. Additionally, investments from private companies for biogas production and recycling could become an interesting business case in the future.

Through this project, experiences from Sweden and particularly the city of Lund as well as the city of Pszczyna in Poland were used and applied to Zabrze. Concrete starting points for improvements include a more proactive approach to waste management, clear decisions on treatment methods and the need for a concrete action plan and schedule.

Main recommendations are to strengthen educational activities and raise awareness to prevent and reduce waste. It is crucial that Zabrze chooses a path which leads to a holistic solution in the region, not relying on one specific solution such as incineration. Most importantly the report shows that change towards a sound waste management system takes time, education, good planning and long-term future vision. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Working Paper
publication status
published
subject
pages
52 pages
publisher
International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics, Lund University
ISBN
978-91-88902-71-9
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
880c5871-c2a0-45e6-9c34-0d13b0d3a84f (old id 2364087)
date added to LUP
2012-02-23 15:15:59
date last changed
2016-04-16 10:29:18
@misc{880c5871-c2a0-45e6-9c34-0d13b0d3a84f,
  abstract     = {Zabrze is a medium size town of 200 000 inhabitants in the region of Upper Silesia, Poland. The development of the town was originally based on the exploitation of heavy industries. In the past few years Zabrze has, however, moved towards more service and tourism oriented industries. As part of this journey, the city of Zabrze sees the need to improve its existing waste management system. This report provides possible pathways to reduce municipal solid waste and help Zabrze on its path to become a more sustainable city.<br/><br>
In Poland, it is at present not clear who is responsible for municipal waste unlike in Sweden where responsibility lies in the hand of municipalities. Additionally, environmental awareness and understanding for recycling in the Polish population is very low. As a result, the existing system faces many challenges such as extensive illegal dumping, poor waste separation, mixed waste containing hazardous material, inefficient collection, poor waste collection coverage, loopholes, lack of enforcement and fraudulent waste reporting. Other issues are the lack of funding for infrastructural improvements and for educational and informational campaigns. The city also faces the challenge that many factors such as the introduction of a new waste law, EU fines and targets, producer responsibility and deposit systems need to be approached on a national level.<br/><br>
The looming change in waste law which will hand-over responsibility of municipal waste to municipalities is a particular challenge for the city of Zabrze. The uncertainty on the timeframe and implementation leads to insecurity on how to finance and adapt the waste management system. Another challenge is the weak collaboration within the region of Upper Silesia not allowing for strong regional solutions and lobbying on a national level. On the positive side, waste management can comprise potentials for the city, especially with regards to funding for waste management projects and educational campaigns from the EU. Additionally, investments from private companies for biogas production and recycling could become an interesting business case in the future.<br/><br>
Through this project, experiences from Sweden and particularly the city of Lund as well as the city of Pszczyna in Poland were used and applied to Zabrze. Concrete starting points for improvements include a more proactive approach to waste management, clear decisions on treatment methods and the need for a concrete action plan and schedule.<br/><br>
Main recommendations are to strengthen educational activities and raise awareness to prevent and reduce waste. It is crucial that Zabrze chooses a path which leads to a holistic solution in the region, not relying on one specific solution such as incineration. Most importantly the report shows that change towards a sound waste management system takes time, education, good planning and long-term future vision.},
  author       = {Charles, Bernice and Moser, Cornelia and Sawaki, Chihiro and Steinvig, Caroline},
  isbn         = {978-91-88902-71-9},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {52},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xb630628)},
  title        = {Waste management in Zabrze: Pathways to a More Sustainable System},
  year         = {2011},
}