Would there be a Regional household solid waste (HSW) management ?

24.05.2022 19:35
The draft plan was developed on the example of the pilot region - Issyk-Kul, where there is an unfavorable situation in relation to the management of solid waste.

On May 23, 2022, Bishkek hosted a discussion on “Regional HSW Management Plan: Opportunities and Prospects.” This event was organized within the framework of the PSI Project, funded by the Swiss Government and implemented by Helvetas and the Development Policy Institute, together with the LSG Union of the Kyrgyz Republic.

A recording of the discussion is available on Facebook at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/1443154222363404/videos/336125905326598  

The problem of solid waste disposal on the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic has not had a systematic solution for decades. The issue of household solid waste management has been transferred to the authority of the LSG bodies and included in the list of the issues of local significance. However, long-term practice has shown that the LSG bodies are able to cope with the functions of garbage collection and removal, but do not have the potential for waste disposal.

According to the data of the State Agency on Environmental Protection under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic in 2018, there are 406 landfills in the Kyrgyz Republic, which occupy a total of 616 hectares of land. At the same time, only 13% of landfills can be considered legal or authorized landfills that have the appropriate act of state registration. On average, in the Kyrgyz Republic, each landfill serves about 19 thousand people, while a self–supporting landfill, according to international data, should be designed for 250-300 thousand people of the population - this suggests that the number of landfills in the country exceeds all rational indicators many times.

"Local self-government bodies responsible for the disposal of solid waste continue to regularly request the transformation of land for the creation of new landfills. But this is a disastrous way for the ecology of the development of this industry. However, the local self-government bodies have no alternative solutions due to the fact that not a single municipality and most of the urban self-government bodies simply do not have and in the foreseeable future will not have the resources to set up and manage a modern landfill since its construction requires initial investments in the amount of 70 to 200 million KGS while the average annual budget of local self-government bodies in 2018 amounted to only 24 million KGS. These data indicate that at present, none of the local self-governments of the Kyrgyz Republic has sufficient potential to properly organize the process of solid waste disposal in accordance with modern requirements. Over the world, governments of countries are increasingly taking the responsibility of HSW management, shifting this issue from the issues of local importance to a matter of national importance, - said Asel Mambetova, Project Manager.

Currently, in Kyrgyzstan there are problems of a legislative nature in the field of solid waste management: blurred responsibility between management levels; weak regulation of responsibility of management levels in the field of solid waste management, etc. there is a need for changes in the field of waste management. Their goal is to protect future generations from a situation when garbage will become a threat to the life, health, socio–economic development of the population of the Kyrgyz Republic. But before moving on to changing the HSW management system and fixing the directions in the legislation, it is necessary to carry out a pilot implementation of HSW management mechanism based on new principles of delineation of responsibility.

Using the experience of other countries, a territorial or regional HSW management plan should be developed in the pilot area. Issyk-Kul region was chosen as a pilot, where there is an unfavorable situation regarding the management of solid waste. For this purpose, the Project attracted an international expert in the field of solid waste management, Janis Prols from Latvia, who developed this document.

Earlier, on May 18, 2022, the first preliminary discussion of the draft Plan was held in Karakol with all heads of municipalities,  district administration and the Presidential Plenipotentiary Representative for Issyk-Kul region (a total of 80 participants, 9 of them women). During the meeting, many heads of LSG bodies shared their experience in solving the problem of garbage collection, removal and disposal through the mechanism of inter-municipal cooperation.