16th International Waste Management Symposium


The representatives of various state, expert and research institutions gathered in Zagreb at the 16th International Waste Management Symposium.

“A lot has changed since 1990, when the 1st International Waste Management Symposium was held in Zagreb. The whole paradigm of thinking has shifted. Waste is no longer considered to be worthless junk, instead it is a valuable raw material. Decades ago, this conference was the place where the first insights about this issue were presented, and for years it has been the sounding board for articulating the thoughts on this topic from the scientific and professional sector,” said in his opening speech the deputy director of the Fund, Mirko Budiša. He pointed out that the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund was focusing its activity on establishing a circular economy. “We will continue financial support for activities and projects that fall in the waste management category. We will continue to listen to first-hand practical requirements when developing our programmes and public calls, take account of opinions from the trade, and accept the initiatives that will bring about positive changes,” said Budiša.
The president of the Croatian Association for Waste Management (HUGO), Aleksandra Anić Vučinić, said that after a 2-year pandemic and the global energy and economic crisis, the waste management system was facing great challenges. New solutions are now called for more than ever in the waste management sector through the use of new technologies, digitalisation of systems, new approaches to the circular economy objectives, and green transition.

During the 2-day conference, all segments of the municipal waste management system were analysed – starting with separate collection to material recovery, and part of the lectures and discussions dealt with the possibility of waste-to-energy recovery.

As part of the symposium, Zvonimir Majić, the head of the Sector for the management of special categories of waste at the Fund, held a presentation about the extended producer responsibility scheme, and broached the duty the Fund would be assigned according to the proposal for the new Ordinance on packaging pending adoption. In his presentation, Predrag Korica, project manager at the Environmental Protection Sector, covered the problem of data quality, which are essential for defining the needs and financing of the waste management system.

On the third day, the participants in the conference had the chance to visit the waste management centre Bikarac in Šibenik, and the location of the centre Biljane Donje near Benkovac, which is under construction.

The aim of the symposium was to offer quality solutions that would improve waste management from the technological and environmental perspectives through collaboration of the scientific and professional, and economic and utility sectors.