Waste incineration projects start to take off in Poland

Katarzyna Grabarz, Construction Analyst, PMR

A project involving the construction of a Bydgoszcz-based waste incineration plant is first of this type which have obtained a valid building permit. There are plans to construct six waste incineration plants using EU funding, while next three waste incineration installations will be developed in accordance with the public-private partnership framework. A year ago, we talked about delays in the implementation of projects expecting to obtain EU funding and a risk that Poland might lose the financing and, consequently, be subject to severed penalties for failure to meet the provisions of the EU’s directives on waste treatment. Currently, it appears that the pace of waste incineration construction has finally started to step up.
At this moment there is only one waste incineration plant active in Poland. It is Zaklad Unieszkodliwiania Stalych Odpadow Komunalnych in Warsaw. The Bydgoszcz-based project, which has already begun, is the most advanced of all planned developments. In September, Lech, a company in charge of a project involving the construction of a waste incinerator in Bialystok, obtained a building permit for its undertaking. However, the permit is not not legally binding yet. Another project is a scheme based in Krakow. In accordance with the project assumptions, Posco Engineering & Construction is scheduled to commence the work in Q4 2013.
Poland generates around 12-13 million tonnes of municipal waste annually, a staggering 71% of which is landfilled in dump sites and a mere 11% recycled. The country is among the EU member states with the greatest delays in waste management operations.
In line with the EU directives, by 2020 50% of municipal waste or household waste and 70% of construction and demolition waste will need to be recycled or prepared for reuse. Though highly needed, new waste incineration plants will not suffice and Poland will also need to have recycling plants and mechanical and biological waste treatment facilities as well as selective waste collection systems constructed, too.