Thousands of tons of dangerous industrial waste are stored in factories out of work located throughout Serbia.
Many of the factories that used toxic chemicals and dangerous substances in their production went into bankruptcy and are now closed or are in the process of bankruptcy. Some of them are in the programs of privatization, which means layoffs, closing of some units and restructuring of the operations in order to meet industry standards and be competitive.Nevertheless, in the warehouses of these factories, tons of dangerous wastes are stocked in inadequate conditions, often without complete inventory lists and proper safeguards. Companies responsible for these warehouses are either out of business or out of funds, which would enable them to destroy this waste, remove it, or just guard it safely.
‘Regardless whether factories work or are in bankruptcy, they have to fulfill their obligations and keep the dangerous waste in line with security regulations in force until such waste is undertaken for transport to appropriate facilities or abroad if such facilities are not available in Serbia’, Aleksandar Vesic, assistant to the Minister for environment protection explains. He also says that 80 million RSD (11 Million Dollars) have been provided by the Government this year for securing of dangerous waste.
According to his words, there were several accidents in recent time but almost all of them were the result of human mistake or negligence. Plan of action called ‘Let’s clean Serbia’ is initiated with the idea to remove dangerous substances from the urban areas. Serbia does not have sufficient capacities for treatment of all kinds of dangerous waste. Most of it has to be exported into neighboring countries and that is very expensive. According to Mr. Vesic, EU is ready to invest EUR 14 millions in construction of such a facility in Serbia and the works should begin in 2011.