EUR 29 million contract for financing waste bales remediation signed


In the presence of Damir Habijan, the minister of economy and sustainable development, and Varaždin County mayor Anđelko Stričak, director of the Fund Luka Balen signed a contract with Neven Bosilj, the mayor of Varaždin, for financing the remediation of baled waste at the location Brezje. Pursuant to the decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund will finance in full remediation costs estimated at approx. 29 million euros.
Minister Habijan pointed out that Varaždin would not feel this burden in their budget given the Government's decision. "The city will not need to take out a loan or use any other financial instrument to provide for this remediation. This clearly shows that the Government, this Ministry, and the Fund are very much dedicated to the uniform development of the Republic of Croatia. I believe this has been evident over the eight years of mandate of the Government headed by Andrej Plenković, as this contract for 100% financing clearly shows. All baled waste will be disposed of over 18 months, after which Varaždin will have a new area for further economic development. This is yet another good news, and I am sure, considering the number of investors who are present here and those who have shown interest, that everyone will be welcome. I’d like to congratulate everyone who participated in solving this long-standing problem," the minister said.
Director Balen emphasized that the Fund had always been both professionally and financially willing to support this project. What was demanded was compliance with all legal and professional norms and solutions that are the most environmentally friendly, and once all these preconditions were met, the Government of the Republic of Croatia provided 100 percent financing through the Fund. "Waste management is an extremely important topic. That’s why the Fund continuously encourages projects, both in the City of Varaždin and Varaždin County, as well as across the Republic of Croatia, with strong support of the line Ministry of Economy. In addition to waste management, we are actively engaged in the field of energy efficiency, and the Fund is co-financing the energy renovation of the Varaždin City Hall ", said Luka Balen.
"When I took over as mayor, the first institutions I visited were the Ministry of Economy and the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund because I wanted to solve the problem that has plagued this city for 18 years and 10 months. The fencing of the baled waste in the Brezje Industrial Zone is nearing completion and the waste weighing equipment has been installed. The waste will be subject to mechanical-biological treatment, while the residue will be baled and sent to incineration in the planned power plants ", said Mayor Bosilj, thanking the members of the project team who participated in solving this huge problem. He also thanked the Government of the Republic of Croatia for financing this remediation project with 100%, instead of 40% that was the original amount in the 2022 Government decision.
County mayor Anđelko Stričak expressed his satisfaction with the fact that waste bales were going to become a thing of the past: "To start something, regardless of whether it is remediation, construction of a facility or landscaping, firstly it is important to make a firm and clear decision about it. At the ceremonial session to mark the City of Varaždin Day, I clearly stated that no one in the past - until now and Prime Minister Plenković - has made the decision to resolve this issue in Varaždin. Of course, many people participate in this process - experts, administration and decision makers.”  He underlined the importance of this for all citizens of Varaždin and the city itself since it would not have to bear any financial burden, while the Brezje Industrial Zone would open for numerous potential investors in the area of Varaždin and Varaždin County.

The signing of this contract important for the City of Varaždin was also attended by MPs Barbara Antolić Vupora and Predrag Štromar, deputy director of the Fund Mirko Budiša, deputy city mayor Miroslav Marković, president of the City Council Lovro Lukavečki, and other experts from the City and the Fund who were actively involved in the preparation of the project.