Suez and Itochu were supposed to close the existing waste landfill in Vinča on January 31 and start using the new site next to it, CLS said and blamed the Belgrade city government for the delay.
Beo čista energija, a project firm responsible for the closure and rehabilitation of Belgrade’s landfill and the operation of the new one in the same area including a waste incinerator, failed to meet the deadline for the switch, said CLS, a nongovernmental organization active in municipal issues.
The new landfill in Vinča has been under construction for more than a year now next to the existing facility. CLS pointed to the fact that the private partners were supposed to make the transition by January 31. Suez from France and Japan’s Itochu have founded Beo čista energija and established a public–private partnership or PPP with Serbia’s capital city.
The organization said Belgrade’s authorities are late with necessary works and that a barrier holding the mountain of waste has cracked.
Fires, ash emissions to continue until old Vinča landfill is rehabilitated
“In practice, it means the air in Belgrade will still be polluted with ash emissions but also smoke from methane fires, all in defiance of the EUR 1 billion contract signed with the concessionaire and with increased surcharges for waste collection and treatment. It is also unclear why the city is planning to open its own landfills for construction waste in Krnjača, Surčin and Umka, as according to the said contract the treatment of such waste is the concessionaire’s responsibility,” CLS said.
The City of Belgrade hasn’t established a waste separation system, necessary for the operation of the future incinerator
The project is connected with numerous financial and practical disputes, the organization claims. Fires often erupt at the landfill, adding to extreme air pollution in Belgrade.
Major environmental issues
Environmentalists and activist groups have been warning that the waste incineration plant under construction in Vinča would make Belgrade lag behind Serbia’s efforts to reach the European Union’s recycling targets. On top of that, the city hasn’t developed a household waste separation system.
Critics also say plastics and paper need to be recycled instead of burnt and that incineration would cause pollution. The city’s representatives vowed to only use the waste that cannot be reused.