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PM Rama posts data on ”waste management” amid ongoing political clashes over incinerators

Recent political clashes regarding concession contracts for the management and processing of urban waste have sparked continuous debate between the opposition and Prime Minister Rama.

The latter posted on Monday a chart, referring to data published by the Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), where it was said that the coverage level of the population with the municipal waste management services in 2019 was 87.9%, whereas in 2013 the coverage was 50.7%.

Rama described these figures as “significant progress in setting up waste management services”.

However, the annual report of INSTAT concluded that during 2019 there “were more urban waste thrown in landfills and less treated waste”.

Last year resulted in the lowest total waste treated since year 2013, a year when INSTAT surveys reported 940 thousand tons of waste.

Based on this figure (although incorrect in the chart), the Democratic Party of Albania stated that the volume of waste treatment has increased very little “compared to the 75 million euros invested in contracts for waste collection, processing and incinerators.

Economic expert of the Democratic Party, Dorjan Teliti, wrote that despite investments in three incinerators, “the volume treated in 2019 has increased only by 15% comparted to 2013”.

Teliti accused Prime Minister Rama, Minister Arben Ahmetaj and Mayor of Tirana Erion Veliaj, that in cooperation with entrepreneur Klodian Zoto, “have taken 75 million euros from Albania” and plan “to take another 400 million in the coming years”.

Earlier on Monday, Chairman of the Democratic Party, Lulzim Basha, openly accused the head of the government of making mafia connections as regards waste management.

He cast doub that the three government-planned incinerators have a greater capacity than the waste Albanian citizens can generate. Basha argued that individuals and groups associated with companies such as Eco-Tirana or even government officials are “under investigation for mafia links in Italy and Zimbabwe”.

The issue of incinerators has sparked fierce political clashes over the past week, as the opposition has accused the government of abusing with funds by continuously paying millions of euros for their constructions despite the country being in a state of emergency due to the pandemic.

INSTAT data show that since 2013 the recycling rate in Albania has decreased from 24% to 18%, while landfill depositions have increased. / EURONEWS

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