Bulgaria – The Bulgarian Recycling Association and a large number of scrap dealers have voiced their opposition to the country’s draft Waste Management Act. Some 5000 protesters have gathered in front of the Parliament building, with representatives of scrap metal dealers and recycling companies insisting that they have been told by Bulgaria’s Environment Minister Nona Karadzhova that only 400 companies can remain in the market.
The draft Waste Management Act is intended to prevent rampant metal theft. But according to the Bulgarian Recycling Association, it will force into bankruptcy some 1000 small and medium-sized businesses which have acquired unlimited licences for trading ferrous and non-ferrous metals; an estimated 14 000 jobs would be lost as a result, it adds. The proposed legislation stipulates that scrap purchasing depots must be located on municipal ground within either logistics or production facilities. According to business sector and government data, only around 30% of municipalities have proper resources to meet this requirement.
Around 180 municipalities will be left without depots for buying ferrous and non-ferrous metals – a situation which would amount to discrimination, according to the Bulgarian Recycling Association.