The Bulgarian waste management sector is in great need of modernization so that it can fulfil the environmental and waste policy requirements set by the European Union. It thus has a strong interest in Bulgarian-German waste management sector cooperation. This was the background for the “German Bulgarian Workshop on Waste Management Concepts and Technologies”, which took place at the Inter Expo Centre in Sofia on 7 March 2017.
Central challenges: political and administrative structures in Bulgaria
The event was held jointly by the project partners INTECUS GmbH and adelphi as a side event to the “Save the Planet” environmental technology fair, which takes place in Sofia every year, and offered the more than 50 participants the chance to attend both the project workshop and the trade fair. The Bulgarian participants included national and municipal waste management sector representatives, as well as representatives of local NGOs and waste management initiatives. The German participants included, among others, the Federal Environment Agency, representatives of associations, and suppliers of waste management technologies and services.
In the course of the presentations and discussions, it became clear that the primary challenges are posed by the political and administrative structures in Bulgaria. The participants agreed that improved data management and more effective networking between waste management actors are important prerequisites for the modernization of the Bulgarian waste management sector. They identified a need for support from the German side on, among other things, the expansion of separated collection and recycling of municipal waste.
In order to advance the dialogue started in Sofia, a concluding international conference as part of the UFOPLAN project is set to take place in Germany in early 2018. Further information and the presentations of the German and Bulgarian participants can be found on the project website.