For Immediate Release
Deputy Prime Minister, Niko Peleshi, U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, Henry Jardine, the Head of Recycling Association, Mr. Bardhyl Baltëza, Deputy Minister of Environment, Oljana Ifti, and Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, Ylli Manjani, delivered remarks today at a roundtable discussion with civil society, local government authorities, recycling businesses, and other stakeholders on the issue of solid waste management and recycling. USAID, Assist Impact, and the grassroots NGO, Youth Solidarity Albania, organized the event in partnership with Vodafone Foundation to bring together all stakeholders to discuss solutions to challenges facing Albania on this issue.
In September 2013, the Government of Albania revoked the law on import of solid waste. Although cheered by civil society and Albanian citizens at large, the decision has had a detrimental effect on recycling companies which relied on the imports to sustain operations. Solid waste management is under the authority of local governments. However, several lack the resources or infrastructure to properly dispose of waste. A handful of civil society organizations have initiated pilot recycling programs to collect materials; however the quantities are not sufficient for recycling companies. Furthermore, these programs are not connected to municipal waste management structures. There is a desperate need to discuss ways to create an integrated recycling and solid waste management system.
This roundtable will be the first time recycling businesses, associations, local and national government, and civil society have met since the revocation of the law on import of solid waste.
In his remarks at the event, Chargé d’Affaires, Henry Jardine, applauded the representatives of the recycling businesses and government officials for coming to the table to discuss ways forward. He underlined the importance of making waste reduction and recycling a national priority through cooperation between municipal government, business and civil society and encouraged more investments and strong partnership between recycling industries and local government.
Last updated: July 24, 2014