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UNDA Project 1819AE: North Macedonia - Regional organisation of waste management


Problems of waste management are still present in North Macedonia. The 2019 EPR underlined shortcomings at the regional level and recommended development of regional waste management systems and landfills. For example, still 30 per cent of the population, residing mostly in rural areas, does not receive regular waste collection services. Moreover, 54 municipal landfills are non-conform to the minimal requirements of the relevant laws. Municipalities are responsible for activities related to waste management but many of them have not set up adequate institutional structures and training. Public enterprises which collect and invoice fees for the services are not performing well due to financial constraints. Real costs of service delivery are not fully recovered, and “polluter pay” principle cannot be enforced. 

Currently, the Law on waste management regulates waste management at the regional level. It stipulates that an inter-municipal waste management board must be established by the municipalities within a region as well as organizational units. In addition, Regional Waste Management Plans have been developed between 2014 and 2019 and plan to establish one central waste management facility per two regions and several transfer stations as well as the closure of all the non-compliant landfills. They also set minimum requirements for recycling packaging waste.  

In this line, a policy paper developed under the UNDA project aims at supporting and improving the regional waste management strategy. At the institutional level, it pushes forward the creation of management units, based on the of other EU countries of Regional Waste Management Centres, as well as the involvement of the private sector with mechanisms such as public-private partnership or enterprise founded by the municipalities. In all these sectors, different types of training activity should be held to ensure that the different actors develop capacities for effective delivery and efficient inspection, enforcement, and supervision. 

A good and transparent system of waste management is key to a successful waste collection and promotion of the model of a circular economy. It will not only help North Macedonia to provide adequate services for its population, but also help the country in the achievement of the relevant goals of the Agenda 2030, adhering to several EU requirements.