Yerevan International Conference


On conclusions from panel discussion from the Conference 17 Nov 2021
A lively discussion among experts, policy-makers and other stakeholders in the waste management sector took place at the Yerevan International Conference on 17 November 2021 organized by the Hazardous Waste Management Project Team in collaboration with the Yerevan Municipality and the EU Delegation to Armenia. Interesting points were raised in answering three questions to the participants:
1. For a city like Yerevan and a country like Armenia, what can be the most effective ways to rapidly progress to the highest standards in Municipal Waste Management and Household Hazardous Waste Management?

- Better awareness among citizens about the real hazards of waste and at the same time its economic value
- Separation of green/bio waste from the general waste streams and elimination of food being wasted (about half of all waste is organic)
- Educating citizens that the most important step is to "REFUSE" to purchase of goods which generate excessive or hazardous waste
- Better economic incentives and easier (but fully enforced) licensing to recyclers
- Introduction of wide sorting of waste at source (by households), specifically to recycle more
- Improve definitions of waste and standards in waste management, including hazardous waste
- Easy system of communication with citizens on the need to exclude hazardous waste from general waste
- More advocacy, education and awareness, especially among youth, on waste prevention and management

2. From the perspective of citizens, how could a city like Yerevan improve services in MWM/HHWM?

- City-wide separation of green/bio waste and hazardous waste from general waste streams; in time a much more developed system of waste segregation at source
- Introduction and development of systems for "reuse" (repair, exchange, upcycling of useful goods)
- Switching to sanitary landfilling and simultaneous decrease of waste going to the landfill through wider reuse and recycling
- More capacities and options for segregation: stationary and mobile points of selective waste collection, etc.
- Wider introduction of deposit systems for packaging of consumer products.

3. All countries are developing and expanding the "Extended Producer Responsibility" policies - what ideas can be recommended for a country like Armenia?

- Obligatory and voluntary systems of deposit/refund for packaging
- Clear environmental tax system on hazardous and non-recyclable products with incomes from these taxes used only to improve waste management
- Development of regulation in EPR with the involvement of ALL stakeholders to reach consensus and workable solutions