Collection and processing of packaging waste
The issues of the formation and accumulation of residential solid waste (RSW) in the Republic of Kazakhstan are among the sensitive environmental issues. The impact of solid waste on the environment and the volume of their formation require the development of approaches and measures to solve the problems of handling them.
5-6 million tons of residential solid waste is formed in Kazakhstan annually. In the coming years, we should expect an increase in the volume of solid waste formation due to an increase in the range of food and non-food products, assortment and types of packaging for them, an increase in the standard of living of the population.
Residential solid waste is divided into three categories:
- secondary raw materials to be processed, separated from the general flow;
- compostable biodegradable waste (food waste);
- non-processable waste (tailings) – currently either cannot be re-processed into products, or their processing is costly. According to the modern concept, they are directed to obtain energy by incineration (pyrolysis).
The EPR principle is called upon to solve the problems of accumulation and ensuring the processing of packaging waste as the most massive part of solid waste.
One of the target indicators of the “green economy” is waste disposal with coverage of the population with the removal of solid waste up to 100%, sanitary storage of waste up to 95% and an increase in the share of processed waste up to 40% until 2030.
Separate collection of waste with subsequent processing into secondary raw materials will significantly reduce the volume of waste, reduce the load on landfills and reduce the number of spontaneous dumps. According to the research carried out by the EPR Operator, the suitable for processing fraction of residential solid waste on average in the Republic of Kazakhstan, depending on the region, is about 46%, which includes polymer, plastic products, paper, cardboard, packaging waste, cullet and metal products.
Together with the introduction and development of composting organic waste, as well as incineration for energy (waste to energy), the level of processing can reach about 90% of the total volume of solid waste.
Separate collection is carried out through the organization of stationary or mobile collection points, at landfills or directly at places of waste formation. In addition, in developed countries, special measures aimed at reducing the volume of waste have been tested and successfully applied.
The solution to the problem of solid waste processing depends on the following interrelated aspects:
- the volume of solid waste formation is constantly growing along with the growth of the population;
- waste is becoming more and more dangerous for humans and the environment due to the increase in non-degradable inorganic components in it;
- increase in the number and increase in the area of solid waste landfills;
- waste management legislation requires constant improvement;
- waste management is becoming more expensive: the cost of processing is steadily growing, as a result, considerable financial investments are required for collection, sorting and processing of waste;
- new technologies for processing solid waste are emerging.
The problem of solid waste processing requires an integrated approach to its solution.