INVA HASANALIAJ

Prime Minister Edi Rama and the Ministry of Tourism and Environment Mrs. Mirela Kumbaro confidently declared almost 8 months ago of having no municipality in the country with waste management issues from a financial point of view. Faktoje verified the impossibility of managing the full 100% waste cleaning of the Albanian territory this year. Some of the municipalities have stated the insufficient available budget and fees making the promise difficult to be kept. Bins’ number of many municipalities is low, as it is the frequency of cleaning. Waste incineration, dumping into the rivers or unauthorized landfills keep being a challenge for the municipalities.

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Despite the radical cleansing campaigns and incinerators with extremely high values for the citizen’s pockets, municipalities of our country are not yet capable of covering the 100% cleaning of their territories due to lack of funds or infrastructure.

On 22 October 2021, the Prime Minister Edi Rama, along with the Minister of Tourism and Environment Mrs. Mirela Kumbaro held a meeting with mayors and perfects regarding waste management and administration emphasizing the intolerable situation that most of the municipalities are enduring.

“No municipality is under any circumstance of not covering the daily waste management part from a financial point of view” said the Prime Minister Rama.

On the other hand, Minister Kumbaro said that the actual summer season shall adhere to the waste management standards at all stages of the process “While we are drafting the 2022 budget, a task force shall be established for the most problematic municipalities with influx during the tourist season. We must adhere to the standards starting from the trash to the end point; this is called integrated waste management”

Faktoje sent a request for information to all the municipalities in our country aiming to learn how they are facing the financial situation regarding waste management.

* Request sent to the municipalities

The answers we received showed that not all the municipalities do the full clean of their territory; One of the reasons for this are insufficient finances, unlike form what Prime Minister Rama stated.

Vlora municipality is one of those admitting the increase of waste generation during the summer season and illegal landfills issues keeps being present.

* Response of Vlora Municipality for Faktoje.al

“The financial fund indented for cleaning service is 446 590 000 ALL” – states Vlora Municipality in its response: Among others, it states that entities exercising their activities in the area along the Vlora Skelë boulevard, Skelë Lungomare, Jonufër-Radhimë – Orikum – Llogara, Plazh i Vjetër – Zvërnec coastline has been differentiated by increasing the cleaning fee compared to other areas, while there is no such increase for tourists.

The next response has been given by Himara Municipality stating that it  not only has any illegal landfills, but the actual budget is sufficient to cover the full cleaning of 100% of municipality’s territory. Although, it even declares that the cleaning fee is insufficient to afford cleaning services.

*Parts from responses given by Himara Municipality

We recall that a year ago Faktoje carried out an observation  in this Municipality where the situation during the tourist season showed quite the opposite.

Waste piles in Himara, August 2021

Lack of finances also affects the coastal municipalities, which, according to the Minister, would enable respecting all the links of waste collection and disposal. Himara Municipality is one of the municipalities stating the lack of budget to fully cover such service.

*Parts of Himara Municipality response

On the other hand, Durrës Municipality provides for its inability to fully cover the cleaning of its territory due to price changes, however it doesn’t specify indeed how these changes can occur and what prices are involved.

*Response of Durrës Municipality

Insufficient budgets

The data received from most of the municipalities in the country showed budget increases in most of them, however municipalities state that they cannot cover the full cleaning of 100% of their territory.

Comparative table of budgets, 2021-2022

Situation in small municipalities

While large municipalities state they will afford waste management, Selenica Municipality, whose budget has almost been doubled, says that such problem cannot be solved within 2022.

* Response of Selenica Municipality for Faktoje.al

We received the same answer from Pustec Municipality:

*Response of Pustec Municipality for Faktoje.al

Faktoje processed data sent by each municipality on their capacities according to specific items:

The municipality with the largest number of employees is Tirana with 1,065, followed by Durrës with 276 employees and Fieri with 186. Even in terms of waste bins, Tirana leads with 4,436, followed by Fieri with 1400 and Durrës with 1000 waste bins.