Municipal Waste Management in Belgrade, Serbia
As in many developing countries worldwide, municipal solid waste management and wastewater treatment is a major challenge in Serbia. Around 65% of household waste is collected in Serbia and majority of waste collected will end up in one of few thousand unmonitored and illegal landfills through the country. Not even half of the Serbian households are connected to public sewer systems and only 20% of household wastewater is treated. This is a major problem and it leads to long term pollution of groundwater, soil and poses a major health threat to people and the environment. There are many other factors that lead to poor waste management such as, increasing urban population, limited financial resources, complicated legislation, new industry regulation, limited technology, etc.
The Serbian government defined waste management as number one environmental issue. The capital city of Serbia, Belgrade has a population of 2.3 million people and around 1.1 million people live in the inner city area. Typical for large cities in developing countries Belgrade has also high percentage of biodegradable waste. There is also a high content of plastic bags that end up not only in landfill but also in the rivers and by the side roads.
Landfill is the main solid waste disposal method, mostly because of its low cost. The only operational landfill for the large metropolitan area of capital city of Belgrade is so called Vinca landfill. There were few smaller ones but they had to be closed because of the number of issues mostly related to money, environmental violations and poor management. What is specific about this landfill is that it was established in 1978 and is located only 6 miles from city downtown area. It sits on the right side of the Danube river. Vinca landfill is also surrounded by the agricultural terrain.
The Vinca landfill is subject to numerous violations documented by landfill regulation agency. There is no...