Waste management

Waste means any substance of chemical, biological, or nuclear origin. Waste is generated solely by human activity. It is not suitable for further use in the conventional manner, and it requires new methods of treatment and processing. It can be divided into gaseous, liquid, and solid waste. Waste can be inert, non-hazardous, and hazardous. Waste management means collection, transport, recovery and disposal of waste, including the supervision of such operations and the aftercare of disposal sites, and includes actions taken by dealers or brokers.

Waste disposal

The prerequisite for choosing the method of waste disposal is chemical analysis of the waste. Chemical analysis is carried out by the laboratories specialised for these types of analyses. The laboratory which is specialised for these types of analyses must be authorised by the Croatian Accreditation Agency. Such laboratories conduct inter-laboratory examinations for establishing the accuracy and precisions. The accreditation process itself requires precision, accuracy, and integrity in work, and it must exclude preferential treatment.

Permanent disposal

Permanent disposal of waste implies the landfilling of waste that is inert regardless of the impacts from the atmosphere and the elements. For example, such type of waste is generated in the construction sector – brick, stone, concrete…. Due to the requirement of being inert, for the waste which has been categorised for permanent disposal according to its origin, it has to be subject to the physical and chemical analysis of the eluate.
The parameters should be within the permissible limits for inert waste landfills (Ordinance on the methods and conditions for the landfill of waste, categories and operational requirements for waste landfills (OG 117/07)). In the case it fails to fulfil these requirements, the waste can be treated as non-hazardous if it meets the conditions in the Ordinance (OG 117/07) for non-hazardous waste. If the waste does not meet the requirements for non-hazardous waste but meets the requirements for the landfill of hazardous waste, it will be disposed in the hazardous waste landfill. In the case that hazardous waste requirements are exceeded, either thermal treatment or physical-chemical treatment is applied. Biological treatment is possible if the physical and chemical indicators permit.
Landfills for permanent disposal have to comply with the special requirements for the relevant types of waste, meaning the preparation and disposal of the waste on-site. The most commonly used method is the preparation of the base and construction of an impermeable layer that will prevent the penetration of water and chemical substances into the soil. Gas and water produced in such landfills have to be released. Thermal treatment or physical and chemical treatment of waste should be applied to a greater extent in order to recycle and reclaim the materials in new processes.

Waste management is a set of activities, decisions and measures directed at:

1. Preventing waste generation, reducing the quantity of waste and/or its harmful impact on the environment,
2. Collection, transport, recovery, disposal, and other waste-related activities, and supervision of the performance of these activities,
3. Looking after closed landfills.
Waste management has to be carried out in such a manner as not to jeopardise human health, and avoiding the use of procedures and/or methods that could be harmful to the environment, and in particular to avoid:
1. The risk of pollution of: the sea, waters, soil, and air,
2. Noise,
3. Emission of unpleasant smells,
4. Threatening the flora and fauna,
5. Adverse impact on the areas with cultural and historical, aesthetic, and natural values,
6. Explosion or fire.
Article 5

The goals of waste management include:

  • avoiding and reducing waste generation and reducing hazardous properties of waste, in particular by:
    – developing clean technologies that use less natural resources,
    – technical development and promoting the products that do not contribute, or contribute in the least possible extent to an increase of harmful impacts of waste and threat of pollution,
    – developing adequate methods of disposal of hazardous substances contained in waste that is intended for recovery,
  • waste recovery through recycling, reuse, or restoration, or any other method which allows extraction of secondary raw material, or the use of waste for energy recovery,   
  • disposal of waste in the prescribed manner,
  • remediation of the environment polluted with waste.


The Act on Sustainable Waste Management (OG 94/13) defines the waste management order of priority in the following manner:

  1. waste prevention (measures to reduce the quantities of waste, including reuse of products or extending the life cycle of products),
  2. preparation for reuse (means checking, cleaning or repairing recovery operations, by which products or components of products that have become waste are prepared so that they can be re-used without any other pre-processing),  
  3. recycling (any recovery operation by which waste materials are reprocessed into products, materials or substances whether for the original or other purposes, but not including energy recovery or the reprocessing into materials that are to be used as fuels or for backfilling),
  4. other recovery procedures, e.g. energy recovery and  
  5. ​waste disposal.

A unit of local self-government shall ensure in its area:
  1. Public collection service of mixed municipal waste and biodegradable municipal waste (the service provider of collection of solid and biodegradable municipal waste shall calculate the fee for the public service so as to ensure the application of the “the polluter pays” principle, economically viable business operation, and a safe, regular and high-quality service. The service provider of collection of solid and biodegradable municipal waste shall charge the user of the public service the fee referred to in the Article which is proportional to the quantity of the waste submitted during the accounting period, where the quantity criterion in a given accounting period shall mean the mass of the waste submitted or the volume of the waste container and the number of times the container has been emptied),
  2. Separate collection of waste paper, metal, glass, plastics, textile and bulky municipal waste,
  3. Prevention of the dumping waste in a manner contrary to this Act and elimination of any such discarded waste,
  4. Plan implementation,
  5. Adoption and implementation of the waste management plan of the local self-government unit,
  6. Conducting educational and information activities in its area, and
  7. The possibility of organising waste collection drives.
The public service of collection of mixed municipal waste and biodegradable municipal waste involves the collection of those wastes in a given service area using user containers, and the transport of those wastes to the authorised treatment facility. To provide this service, it is essential to have adequate containers and adequate municipal vehicles.
Every local self-government unit shall ensure separate collection of difficult wastes, waste paper, metal, glass, plastics, textiles and bulky municipal waste, by ensuring:
  1. The operation of one or more civic amenity sites (recycling yards) or a mobile unit in its area,
  2. Placement of adequate number and types of containers on public surfaces for separate collection of difficult wastes, waste paper, metal, glass, plastic and textile, which are not covered by the special waste management system,
  3. That households are notified about the location and changes in the location of civic amenity sites, mobile units or containers for separate collection of difficult wastes, waste paper, metal, glass, plastic and textile, and
  4. Transport of bulky municipal waste upon service user request.