Waste management is a serious issue, including its prevention, collection, treatment, recovery and final disposal. And one important contribution to the difficulties related to waste management can be provided by objective, reliable, and useful information from countries who already has experience dealing with these problems and has been able to handle them in best and appropriate ways.

With regards to waste management, Central Asia countries suffer from a financial catch-22 independent of the economic situation. Citizens have a low willingness to pay for waste management services since the system is falling apart. Without these fees municipalities cannot afford to run the system to a suitable standard, let alone invest in improving the situation.

Current conditions have attracted donors and International Financial Institutions (IFIs) to Central Asia, with an increasing number of projects in the municipal Solid Waste management (SWM) sector. Investments have led to improvements but the greatest successes occur when the expectations are less glamorous and more realistic. Often projects attempt to implement Western standards, such as EC legislation, when ‘softer’ standards, such as the “European Solid Waste Minimum Standard” (1573/2007 resolution of the Council of Europe) create some faster and more effective improvements.

Central Asian countries has already begun the fight against ineffective liquid, solid and most important hazardous waste management. But the issue of uranium tailings and toxic industrial waste from the Soviet era which is distributed across waste sites in Central Asia, often in water catchment areas, is still extremely grave and the potential consequences of not effectively solving this problem could jeopardize the health of the regions’ population.

Green Bridge forum will address the urgent problems of hazardous waste management by supporting the development of long-term, joint regional cooperation projects that improve waste management approach.

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