Waste Management Situation in Kazakhstan
Almost one third of industrial waste in the country is accumulated in Karaganda region - more than 8.5 billion tons by the end of 2012.
The main volume of emissions in Karaganda region accounts for metallurgical sphere and equals to 70%. This is the share of two major metallurgic companies – Arcelor Mittal Temirtau JSC and Kazakhmys Corporation. In the period from 2008 to 2012 Arcelor Mittal Temirtau has paid the penalty of more than one billion tenge for noncompliance of emission standards, Kazakhmys Corporation - more than 300 million tenge.
According to the results of 2012 the expected decline in total emissions in Karaganda equals to 31% compared to 2008. This is mainly the merit of environmental protection program of a single enterprise - "BalkhashTsvetMet", a subsidiary of Kazakhmys Corporation. In 2008 "BalkhashTsvetMet" has commissioned production on the basis of sulfuric acid. This action has reduced the emissions of sulfur dioxide from 578,000 tons in 2008 to 254,000 tons in 2012.
*Graph provided by European Environment Agency
According to the Ministry of Environment, the country has accumulated 23 billion tons of municipal solid waste (MSW). Annual increase of accumulated solid waste equals to 700 million tons. Only 3-5% of garbage is being recycled. About 97% is stored in outdoor dumps.
Currently, industrial and municipal waste management issues are regulated by the Environmental Code. Sanitary rules adopted in accordance with the Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan "On the people's health and the health care system" also set the sanitary and epidemiological requirements for the collection, use, application, processing, transportation, storage and disposal of production and consumption waste.
However, the rules of the Environmental Code and other legal acts regulating this area are not fully exploited. Environmental Code establishes only a general provision of waste management as one of the types of emissions. But international experience shows that different types of waste require different rules and standards of treatment.
Strategic Development Plan of the Republic of Kazakhstan till 2020, approved by the Decree of the President as of February 1, 2010 № 922 has indicated the need to optimize the policy of development of "green" low-carbon economy, including matters of investment, environmental issues, reducing the negative impact of anthropogenic pressures, integrated waste management issues.
On June 1, 2011 Minister of Minister of Environment Nurgali Ashimov introduced a bill "On amendments and additions to some legislative acts of Kazakhstan on environmental issues to Majilis (upper house of parliament) of Kazakhstan. Bill aims to increase administrative and criminal penalties for environmental violations. New regulations will come into force on January 1, 2013.
"Due to weak legal framework today it is more profitable for enterprises to pay for waste storage, rather than taking actions for recycling and disposal"- says the official message from Majilis on June 1, 2011.
Waste Processing Facilities
The first municipal waste processing plant in Kazakhstan was opened in December 2007 in Almaty with support of local akimat. Vtorma-Ecology Plant covered 90% of the city’s utilization of municipal solid waste (MSW). At that time Almaty accumulated about 600 tons of garbage per year. During 4.5-5 years, the company was to pay back $ 28 million investments and reach cost recovery by producing secondary materials - PET flex, plastic pellets, paper, ferrous and non-ferrous metals. But to the economic crisis the price of recyclables has fallen in 1,5-3 times, and the plant was not able to cover its costs and pay the loan, issued by "KazKom Bank". In October 2010 the plant was mothballed, criminal case of non-payment the wages was opened on Rustem Parmanbekov, director of the plant, and environmental prosecutor's office estimated the environmental damage in the amount of 7 million tenge. Only in December 2009 an investment agreement with Shymkent Akimat was signed and area for polygon and plant was defined. In Fall 2011 it was again announced that construction of the plant begins. Municipal budget allocated 430 million tenge for the necessary infrastructure needs. Until the end of the year builders acquired approximately 20 million tenge.
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