As an EU member state, Romania has committed to applying principles of sustainable development in its waste management, in order to make progress towards becoming a circular economy.
The country committed to the common European environmental targets as set by the EU Directive on waste (2008/98/EC) which has already been implemented in the national legislation. Precise targets on specific indicators were set to be attained until 2020 within the common environmental policy.
Despite the existing national and EU legislation and available funding, municipalities and local authorities (responsible for the implementation of policy) seem to go through hard times when it comes to identifying effective ways for waste management and getting closer to the European targets.
Thus, the recycling rate in 2021 was only 11,3% of the total waste, well below the 50% target set for the year. The rest has been landfilled or disposed improperly.
10% of the municipal waste should have been recycled for energy generation by 2020. Nevertheless, it requires significant advancements in the selective collection of the wet waste and investments to expand the separation capacity.
According to the latest data from Eurostat, one urban person produces 303 kg waste annually in average. The National Institute for Statistics says that three quarters of the municipal waste is produced by the households.
Of these, more than half is biodegradable. The statistics also show that only 25% of the population collect the waste separately in their own households. More than 90% of the rubbish is mixed collected municipal waste, as the total amount of the generated municipal waste is steadily increasing.