Romania risks entering an EC infringement procedure for not reducing the quantity of deposited waste by 50% by 2020, the NGO Coalition for a Circular Economy in Romania said, reports local Agerpres.
The quantity is expected to increase after an emergency ordinance issued on June 30 suspended the enforcement of the landfill tax of RON 80 per ton of waste.
The tax was designed to reduce the quantity of deposited waste and encourage selective collection and recycling, areas where Romania is one of the most underperforming member states in the EU. The country had the highest landfilling rate in the union, of 72%, far above the EU average of 25,6%, in 2015.
The NGO estimates that Romania could end up paying penalties of EUR 200,000 per day if the infringement procedure is started.
“With this forced measure, after only a few months of normality, landfill collection is no longer penalized until 2019, generating devastating effects on the environment, on Romania’s position in European statistics, and on recycling efforts in the country,” the NGO said.
The coalition also warned that the suspension of the tax would speed up the fill up of already insufficient landfills, destroy thousands of hectares of land and impact the groundwater. The coalition argued that the Environment Ministry should have made sure that local authorities are implementing environment protection measures, from selective collection of city waste to severe sanctions to those dumping waste in an unregulated way.
A total of 106 companies are members of the Coalition for a Circular Economy. They employ over 14,000 people and have a total turnover of over RON 5 billion (EUR 1.12 billion).