ARS general assembly elections

ARS general assembly elections
September 4, 2014

Romanian Association of Sanitation (ARS), employers and professional association, unique in the field, with national and international recognition, ISWA national member - International Solid Waste Association and FEAD - European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services, which this year celebrates 15 years of uninterrupted waste management activity, held Thursday, September 4, 2014, the General Assembly Election during which they established the new management bodies for the 2014-2016 period.

The main topics of the agenda were the following:

  •   President's and board of directors' election;
  •   Approving the balance sheets for 2012 and 2013;
  •   Changes in name and status of the association - Romanian Association for Waste Management (ARMD);
  •   Income and expenses budget and the action plan for 2014-2018.


At this important meeting, for those who work in the field of waste management, recycling companies, transfer of responsibility organizations, companies and representatives of manufacturers of equipment, machinery and specialized equipment, design institutes, research and consultant companies, specialists and experts, were also present alongside sanitation operators.

With respect to action plan for 2014 - 2018, ARS will continue to promote and develop sustainable and professional waste management in Romania and will achieves its mission through:

  •   Encourages private initiative as the main engine for performance improvement of waste management services and attracting investment partners at home and abroad;
  •   Supports the introduction of scientific and technical progress in waste management - to increase the comfort and quality of life of residents and protection and conservation of the environment;
  •   Initiate actions consultation, drafting and promoting the necessary proposals to improve the legal framework of waste management service;
  •   Facilitate the exchange of ideas, solutions, techniques, studies and applied research and experiments in the field;
  •   Protecting the interests of professional and social community operators and workers, following their strengthening and enhancing the role, prestige and their professional authority;
  •   Facilitate the participation of its members in manifestations of scientific technical meetings at national and international levels.


The new elected President of the association is Mr. Dumitru Mihalache, who previously held the position of Chairman of the Employers in "sanitation" and in the Board of Directors were elected 17 members, including the Chairman of the Technical - Scientific Comitee, dr. Alexei Atudorei, which is a member of ISWA Board as representative of ISWA RDN Southeast Europe, Middle East and Mediteraneean.

Project initiated by Eco-Rom Ambalaje

A new "Recycling City"
in Romania

Eco-Rom Ambalaje - the largest Romanian organization for taking over the obligation of recycling and recovery of packaging waste for the economic agents - designated the The Recycling City 2014 in Romania. Sfântu Gheorghe Municipality won the great "recycling battle" by being the city that achieved the highest score at the final evaluation, thus demonstrating that it has the most performing system of separate collection of packaging waste of the 32 participating cities.

The project initiated by Eco-Rom Ambalaje, under the aegis of the Romanian Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, was addressed to the local municipalities and took place between January 1st and June 30, 2014.
The evaluation criteria for the participating cities were: the quality of the separate collection of packaging waste service (meaning the public access to the colored containers, their appearance and the correctness of separating the waste in each container), the amount of packaging waste collected separately and the awareness campaigns for the population regarding the importance of separate waste collection for recycling.

  It looks like, once again, the international model of separate collection of waste as close as possible to home - through colored containers or bags - proves its efficiency. After the second edition of the project, the local authorities are more involved in the service and the Romanians begin to perceive the separate collection gesture as a simple and normal habit.  

said Sorin Cristian Popescu, CEO Eco-Rom Ambalaje

Along with obtain the title of "The Recycling City", Sfantu Gheorghe also won the grand prize: an eco Wi-Fi area, a unique space for relaxation, 100% eco and with free internet access.

During the competition, over 6.700 tons of packaging waste were collected separately, of which 2.700 tons of plastic, over 3.500 tons of paper, 500 tons of glass and 30 tons of metal. Through this project, 40% of the population - more than 4 million Romanians from the 32 municipalities involved - found out about the importance of recycling, having acces to over 7,000 colored containers to separate their packaging waste.
However the awards did not stop here. Each participating city was performant at at least one of the three evaluation criteria and won special prizes, in order to motivate them to continue the fight for the development of the national separate collection and recycling of waste system.
The project was supported by the Association of Municipalities of Romania and the Institute for Public Policy.

More details about the competition "The Recycling City" and information on the separate collection of packaging waste in Romania can be found by visiting the website: .

The workshop was attended by over 60 experts and 20 lecturers

9th of OCTOBER 2014, Bucharest, Romania

International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), ISWA-Regional Development Network Southeast Europe, Middle East and Mediterranean (ISWA-RDN) and Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance (EXPRA) organized in Bucharest, Romania on October, 9th, a common workshop on "Challenges to separate collection systems for different waste streams - barriers and opportunities".

In the light of the proposed by the European Commission increased recycling targets, as part of the Circular Economy Package, the problem that certain valuable packaging is disappearing or even not reaching the established collection infrastructure of municipalities and compliance schemes, gains major importance. The higher the prices for secondary raw material are, more material is disappearing, which makes it more and more difficult to finance the infrastructure and to reach recycling targets.
The workshop was focused on the relation between regular collection of valuable parts of the waste stream and the informal sector and offered a platform to exchange experiences on the effects of this problem as well as possible solutions.

The workshop was attended by over 60 experts and 20 lecturers from ISWA (Mr. Gerfiried Habenicht, Mr. Helmut Stadler), RDN (Mr. Alexei Atudorei), EXPRA (Mr. Joachim Quoden) and EXPRA members from Turkey, Greece, Malta, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, Serbia and from the University of Natural Resources (Vienna, Austria), UNESCO – IHE (Delft, Netherlands) and DANONE (France).
The separate collection of packaging waste is defined as a specific collection system that allows recoverable materials in waste to be separated. Various solutions for separate collection have emerged in order to fulfill all the objectives stipulated by legislation and local authorities in various countries for the recovery of packaging waste and the EU is seeking to harmonise national measures concerning packaging management and packaging waste to provide a high level of environmental protection and to ensure the functioning of the internal market.

On average, Europeans generate just over 500 kilograms of municipal waste per person per year (approximately 25-30% of household waste generated in Europe is packaging waste).
The approach for managing this waste varies across the EU Member States, as do the performances. In order to contribute to enhanced waste management performances across the EU, the EU has several pieces of waste legislation in place and these are, for companies that are taking the responsibility of producers (EXPRA members) the two key pieces of waste legislation: Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive as well as the Waste Framework Directive.

ISWA's declared mission is "To Promote and Develop Sustainable and Professional Waste Management Worldwide" and is being achieved through:

  •   Promoting resource efficiency through sustainable production and consumption;
  •   Supporting developing and emerging economies;
  •   Waste management advancement through education and training;
  •   Promoting appropriate and best available technologies and practices;
  •   Professionalism through its programs of professional qualifications.


EXPRA's mission is:

  •   to promote Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging waste, with a particular focus on household packaging waste including away-from-home consumption and to enable its Members to offer the best possible service for the lowest sustainable costs to their client companies;
  •   to promote a sustainable and efficient, not-for-profit / profit-not-for-distribution EPR scheme, which is owned and driven by the obliged industry and to offer a service of public or collective interest;
  •   to promote Best Practices for separate collection, sorting and recovery of used packaging and to defend these Best Practices with the European and other international institutions, associations and federations, as well as the national authorities and other stakeholders.


Two of ISWA-RDN important missions are:

  •   Promoting sustainable waste management in the Region,
  •   Networking for solving local problems.


As a result, all three entities have common missions, and thus, organized together the workshop. EXPRA members (ex. EcoRom Ambalaje, Romania) have set-up a trilateral business model with the following components:

  •   The taking of responsibility by the producer and input of the obligations set by law regarding the recovery of packaging waste;
  •   The commitment to play an operational, formative and informative part of a public service (separate collection);
  •   The taking of responsibility for the law enforcement.


This trilateral business model is a leading engine of the process and is based on self-assessment: continuous and relevant quantity measurements for the processed materials, financial costs and behavioral changes.


The human factor is very important in the separate collection, as the citizen now plays an active rather than a passive role as a processor of materials at source. All the lecturers emphasized that currently, compared to the designed and implemented systems, the situation has changed (legal, technical, economic, environmental and social terms) and the informal sector represents a problem in reaching the targets and maintaining the sustainability of the implemented systems.

The main causes of the phenomenon are:

  •   the value of waste (ex. PET - 200 €/t in 2010 and 500 €/t in 2014);
  •   the social problems and poverty;
  •   the lack of legal provision regarding the ownership of the waste.


The informal waste sector is defined as:

  Individuals or enterprises who are involved in private sector recycling and waste management activities which are not sponsored, financed, recognised, supported, organised or acknowledged by the formal solid waste authorities, or which operate in violation of or in competition with formal authorities.  

Scheinberg et al. (2010)


It is estimated that about 20 million people around the world depend on informal recycling of the municipal waste (1 million in Europe), about the same percent as the total employed in the formal waste industry sector.

The main cause is poverty and this is a broader development issue that has to be properly addressed, not just for the SWM sector.
In many developing countries, the informal recycling sector achieves notable rates (ex. cartoneros in Argentina, pepenadores in Mexico, the Roma ethnicity people and some emigrants in Europe, aso.). However, the poor working conditions, child labour and uncontrolled dumping of residual wastes are neither environmentally or socially acceptable and undermine the position of the formal, legitimate waste industry.

The most important impacts of the informal sector activities are:

  •   Negative effects on the municipal packaging recycling results;
  •   Decreased quality of the collected stream;
  •   Increased operating costs of the Sorting Centers (less incoming valuable materials);
  •   Negative impact on participating citizens;
  •   Strong negative impacts on the cities' functionality and environmental image.


Therefore, a sustainable approach to be addressed by the present situation has to be developed and pursued.
In order to do this, there is a need for information, or this information is not conclusive (even in Europe) because:

  •   There is little data and no benchmarking;
  •   There are no statistics available concerning the outskirts of Italy, on the number of people active in the informal recycling and/or reuse, nor has there been any attempt to analyse the impact of the EU accession over the informal enterprises, the lively-hoods and the socio-economic situation of the families that live from it;
  •   In terms of the solid waste system, the official statistics on recycling rates in the New EU, Italy, and Greece don't reflect the contribution of the Informal Sector.


The conclusion of the workshop is that there are solutions to reduce the impact of informal sector and for reaching the targets on packaging waste, through:

  •   Secure containers;
  •   Promoting local decisions regarding the informal activity (local police support);
  •   Different collection systems, adapted to different local situations (bags);
  •   Supporting a legal decision regarding the ownership of packaging waste;
  •   Integrating the informal side in formal sector activities.


There is need for legal instruments (ex. to establish the responsibilities and limits of action for different stakeholders), economic instruments (ex. to motivate citizens to separate household waste using the Pay As You Throw System - PAYT) and administrative instruments (ex. enforcement).
The integration of the informal sector into the formal sector should be done step-by-step during a transition period (adapted time periods for each country), because of the key challenges (ex. safe working conditions, facilitating social acceptability, and elimination of child labour, environmental control) and solutions.

The course was organized between October 1st and October 5th

Training on projects management
Romania, October, 2014

Romanian Association for Sanitation, ISWA National Member, and ISWA-NDR Organized the first training course on waste management projects.

The course was organized between October 1st and October 5th in a national program authorized by CNFPA / ANC and participants received graduation certificates recognized by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection and the Ministry of Research and Innovation (COR code 242101).
Participants were from waste management field and during these five days they have specialized in waste management in general and in project management specific to implementing integrated solid waste management systems.

The main subjects covered by the seminar were:

  •   Integrated Solid Waste Management (technology to be implemented in Romania in the period 2015-2020);
  •   Project Planning;
  •   Acquisition Management;
  •   Budgeting project costs;
  •   Risk Management;
  •   Monitoring and control activities;
  •   Evaluation of project implementation;
  •   Completion of the project (final reports, financial adjustments, etc.).

During the course a number of documents elaborated by ISWA have been used (ex. Solid Waste - Guidelines for Successful Planning, Waste Prevention, Waste Minimization and Resource Management - ISWA Key Issue Paper, Landfill Operational Guidelines 2nd Edition, ISWA Guidelines: Waste to Energy in Low and Middle Income Countries, ISWA Key Issue Paper on Landfill Aftercare).
This year's course was attended by experts from Romania but next year's plans are to invite experts from associations affiliated to RDN.



Newsletter archive