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21 November 2022, 19:58

State of hazardous waste management in Belarus reviewed

SOCHI, 21 November (BelTA) – Belarusian Deputy Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Minister Aleksandr Korbut talked about the state of affairs with the management of hazardous industrial waste in Belarus on the sidelines of the international forum Atomexpo in Sochi, BelTA has learned.

The need to examine dangerous qualities of hazardous waste and determine their degree of danger and the hazard class is one of the main principles in waste management in Belarus. Aleksandr Korbut said that 62.2 million tonnes of industrial waste was generated in Belarus in 2021. Most of it presented little danger (class 4 waste). Only 0.6% of the total waste can be categorized as class 1 to 3.

In his words, Belarus prioritizes liquidation or neutralization of obsolete pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB-containing equipment), and bulk halite waste. Priorities also include the neutralization of mercury-containing wastes (contaminated soils, wastes from demercurization work, and so on).

A number of international technical aid projects in the area of hazardous waste management have been implemented in Belarus. Over 2,000 tonnes of obsolete pesticides was removed from the Slonim burial site, transported abroad, and neutralized in an environmentally friendly manner in Germany in 2009-2013 as part of the project “Management of persistent organic pollutants”. Work is in progress to build a facility able to neutralize 1,600 tonnes of hazardous waste per annum at premises of the municipal enterprise Gomel Oblast Toxic Industrial Waste Processing and Burial Complex within the framework of the project “Coordinated management of utilization of ozone-depleting substances and persistent organic pollutants in Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Armenia”.

Apart from that, an international technical aid project on the sustainable management of persistent organic pollutants and chemical substances in the Republic of Belarus is being implemented. Codenamed GEF-6, the project is meant to ensure the protection of public health and the environment by means of liquidating the existing stockpiles of persistent organic pollutants and developing the potential in the area of sustainable management of persistent organic pollutants.

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