Brasov County to have a comprehensive waste management system

Alina Oprea
The locations for the investments of the Integral Waste Management System project in Brasov county have been finalized. The Brasov County Council announces that it will continue this year the activities aimed at the Integrated Waste Management System (SMID) project in Brasov county, an essential investment objective for solving the problem of waste management at the level of the entire county, for which the county public administration provided RON 9,093,080 in the 2023 budget.

The SMID project initiated by the Brașov County Council was to be proposed for financing within the Large Infrastructure Operational Program 2014 – 2020 (POIM), Priority Axis 3, Specific Objective 3.1 – Development of environmental infrastructure under conditions of efficient resource management, Specific Objective (OS) 3.1 Reducing the number of non-compliant warehouses and increasing the degree of preparation for waste recycling in Romania. It was agreed, in principle, with the representatives of the Ministry of Investments and European Projects that the financing of the investments will be carried out through the Sustainable Development Program 2021 - 2027 (PDD).

"Although SMID is an absolutely necessary project for the entire county, Braşov remained among the last counties in the country that do not have a functional SMID integrated waste management system and not everyone seems to support its implementation. I understand the motivation of some who opposed such an investment to be made in their locality, albeit at considerable distances, but I would like us all to feel more responsible for the waste we produce. Because the waste does not disappear, it is our responsibility, all of us, and if we do not do something urgently, solving the problem will be more and more difficult and more expensive", said Szenner Zoltan, the coordinator of the SMID project.

He says that SMID is an essential project for Brasov County and is the only viable long-term solution to solving the problem of waste management.

Currently, the SMID team within the County Council, coordinated by the vice-president of the CJ Brasov Szenner Zoltan, has completed the stage of establishing the locations for the investment objectives of the project, respectively:

-        The Rupea waste transfer station, which will be built on a plot of land with an area of ​​5 hectares, located on the administrative territory of the Hoghiz commune;

-        The waste sorting and preparation center for material and energy recovery, in Părău, where the sorting, mechano-biological treatment and composting of waste will be carried out, and will also have a sewage treatment plant;

-        The integrated facility for the treatment of separately collected recyclable waste and residual waste, with a view to material and energy recovery, which will be built approximately 3 km from Măieruș, in an isolated valley, 2.5 km from the national road. The installation will ensure sorting, mechano-biological treatment and composting of waste, as well as anaerobic digestion and cogeneration, and will also be equipped with a sewage treatment plant.

"I want to assure the residents of Braşov county that none of these objectives will have a storage component. According to the legal regulations, at the Braşov county level, we do not have the possibility to authorize another waste deposit other than the existing one, managed by SC Fin-Eco SA, which we will integrate into SMID. For the three locations, we obtained Local Council Decisions through which the administrative-territorial units approved the investments, and in the case of the lands in Părău and Măieruş, which are privately owned, we have concluded notarial agreements with the owners", said Vice President CJ Braşov, Szenner Zoltan.

In his opinion, determining the locations for SMID was the most difficult and time-consuming task to date.

"In the last two years, I sent addresses and had discussions with most of the administrative-territorial units (UAT) that fell geographically in the areas where we needed investments within the project. I set myself much stricter criteria than those stipulated in the legal regulations and, depending on their fulfillment, I visited all potential locations that could meet the requirements. We identified several locations that complied with the legal criteria, but in some cases, we had to give them up due to the lack of agreement at the local level, from the local elected officials or later from the population. We repeated the process each time and analyzed a total of 22 locations, until we determined the final locations", explained vice-president Szenner Zoltan.

In parallel with these steps, the county administration completed all the necessary studies in the pre-feasibility stage, namely the study on the separate collection of biowaste, the waste composition study, the topographical and geotechnical studies for all locations, the hydrogeological studies for Măieruș and Părău, as well as the inundation study for Părău.

At the beginning of November 2022, the consultant sent the Feasibility Study to the County Council, and after the analysis carried out at the level of the Project Implementation Unit - UIPSMID and after making certain additions and/or changes, the document was sent for analysis to the Management Authority (AM) Large Infrastructure Operational Programs (POIM) within an analysis group that benefits from JASPERS European technical assistance.

On November 14, 2022, the Urban Planning Certificate was issued for the SMID project, which provides for the obtaining of approvals from the following institutions: Brașov Environmental Protection Agency, Electrica, C.N.A.I.R., County Roads and Public Services within the Brașov County Council, Civil Defense, Fire Prevention and Extinguishing , the Braşov Public Health Directorate, the Water Management System, the National Land Improvement Administration, the General Staff of the MApN, SRI, the County Directorate for Culture Brașov, the Directorate for Agriculture and Rural Development and mobile phone operators.

At the moment, a large part of the approval requests have already been submitted to the approval institutions and the County Council is to draw up the Zonal Urban Plans for the three locations and take the steps regarding the removal of the respective lands from the agricultural circuit.

In parallel with these steps, the county administration submitted to AM POIM a funding request for the realization of the project "Support for the preparation of the financing application and the implementation of the SMID project in Brașov County", in the amount of RON 3,772,662.64 (€755.000), which was approved, and the signing of the financing contract will be finalized in the following days.

"We gave up the Prejmer location in July 2021, because we didn't want to continue against the will of the population and the local council, even if for this reason it was necessary to start the project almost from scratch and it was clear that we would no longer have chances to get financing for the whole project on POIM. We then publicly stated that we were giving up the Prejmer location and considered the issue closed, and I focused on finding other locations and continuing the project. At the beginning of 2022, I learned with amazement that 2 actions were started in court, one by a group of people from Harman and Prejmer and another by a lawyer, in which the opinion issued by APM on the County Management Plan is challenged in court of Waste. Many of these people have previously been very vocal and claimed they want SMID, but not at Prejmer, and yet these court actions were initiated long after the Prejmer location was no longer relevant. Moreover, it went all the way to white canvas with these; for example, after we won the first trial on appeal and obtained a final judgment, it went even further by filing a motion to review the sentence, which was recently denied. The second trial has not yet been completed, we still have work to do with it", Zoltan Szenner said.

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