Waste to Energy in Albania – at a glance!

RDF photo articleAmid the energy crisis and the long-standing challenge with waste management, Refuse Derived Fuel is being regarded as an alternative solution to address the aforementioned issues, by different stakeholders representing state authorities, and profit sector, largely cement industry. The same course is being followed in Albania as well, where different initiatives arise by private sector and state authorities have displayed the increasing interest for the integration of RDF in the waste management and energy production systems.

EDEN Center has conducted a desk-research over the national laws (policies, DCMs, strategies, action-plans, etc.) related to energy and environment, intended to document and provide an overview on the state and the perspective for the integration of RDF into the waste management system in Albania. The report “Integration of RDF into the waste management system in Albania” provides an overview for the state of RDF integration into the current system of waste management in Albania.

As result of the desk-research it is concluded that the state of application of RDF and its integration in the public documents is still in an initial phase. RDF is sporadically incorporated in public documents related to waste management, and not interconnected with other sectors such as energy, and public health.

This is essential to ensure the adequate production and application of RDF. Moreover, the accomplishment of the SDG could be easily threaten by the lack of proper management, inter-institutional cooperation, monitoring or standards throughout the production or application of RDF/Waste to Energy.

The main conclusions resulted throughout the desk research on RDF in Albania are as stated in the following:

  • RDF principles are partially integrated solely into the policies of waste management. The approved policies, including investments in infrastructure as well, have a lack of inter-connection with policies in energy sector and public health institutions. Energy is important to ensure that the RDF adequately increase and meet the targets for whether domestic energy production or alternative fuel;
  • Household waste that are subject to RDF (incineration, process, burning) are those which remain un-processed throughout the waste hierarchy process. In the waste hierarchy, RDF/energy recovery is the last scale of waste treatment;
  • Data gap on the energy produced through waste (incineration, waste as fuel, organic waste, etc) in Albania, even though that only few facilities operate in the country;
  • Policy-making initiatives and RDF targets set for Albania till 2035 are not based on a proved baseline value. In a small country like Albania, policy development or infrastructure for RDF could not be used due to the generated waste that could be subject to this scale of waste hierarchy;
  • Albania lacks a common framework that assembles environmental, energy, and public health sectors to ensure a functional and reasonable ‘waste to energy’ system in Albania.

- Read the full report in Albanian language
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