Pilot models for environmentally friendly collection and temporary storage of hazardous household waste

On 21 April 2015 a project agreement was signed between Republic of Bulgaria and Swiss Confederation.

The project activities include:

  • Design, construction and field supervision of 5 pilot municipal centers;
  • Construction supervision;
  • Delivery of on-site equipment;
  • Delivery of vehicles (mobile collection points);
  • Final treatment (recovery or disposal) of household hazardous waste;
  • Initial and recurrent personnel training on the handling of household hazardous waste;
  • Information reporting system of HHW;
  • National and Local Public awareness and publicity campaign;
  • External audit by a certified audit organization;
  • Determination of the morphological composition of municipal waste in Bulgaria;
  • Development of ToR -electronic system under Regulation (EC) No. 1013/2006;
  • Development of a guide for the management of bulky waste as part of household waste stream;
  • HHW collection centres will be constructed in Shumen, Razgrad, Levski, Saedinenie, Sozopol. HHW mobile collection points will be operational in Veliki Preslav, Smyadovo, Kaspichan, Hitrino, Loznitsa, Samuil, Isperih, Zavet, Tsar Kaloyan, Pordim, Nikopol, Belene,  Maritsa, Kaloyanovo, Hisarya, Primorsko, Tsarevo; 
  • The experience and know-how gained through the project’s implementation result in the successful replication of the pilot systems for separate collection and environmentally sound disposal of HHW in other municipalities in Bulgaria thus improving environmental protection and reducing economic and social disparities between Bulgaria and the other European countries;
  • Relevant guidelines and instructions for the Bulgarian municipalities take into account the lessons learned within this project;
  • The population (about 360,000) of the pilot municipalities (22) is involved in the separate collection of hazardous municipal waste;
  • Contribution to Waste Management Policies (definition of the morphological composition of municipal waste in Bulgaria, preparation of a task for the creation of an electronic system related to the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 on shipments of waste, elaboration of a manual for management on bulky of HHW).


360'000 people in over 150 settlements in 22 Bulgarian municipalities will be covered by a new service - separate collection of hazardous household waste. Mercury thermometers, medicaments, and varnishes, paints and varnishes will be delivered free of charge to newly built centers or mobile stations.

For the first time on the territory of all 266 municipalities in the country, a complete survey of the generated household waste is carried out. By the end of 2019 there will be known the quantities and the morphological composition of the domestic waste in the country.

While responsibility for waste management is almost entirely at municipal level, the level of responsibility of national authorities for waste management is still quite low. This situation led to the opening of criminal proceedings by the EC against Bulgaria for non-compliance in the field of waste management. Dangerous household waste accounts for only 1% of all household waste. They are a risky area due to environmental and health risks. At present, in many cases, hazardous household waste is disposed of along with the general household waste stream, and it is of paramount importance to develop and implement measures to reduce the flow of hazardous municipal waste to landfills. That is why the testing of the "Pilot models for environmentally sound collection and temporary storage of hazardous municipal waste" in the 22 pilot municipalities is identified by the Bulgarian government as a major priority in the field of waste management. 

Executive Agency

Enterprise for management of the Environment protection Activities (EMEPA)

Reneta Koleva – Executive Director/ Project Leader

Tel. 02/940 62 51

Viktoria Belokonska – project Coordinator

Tel. 02/940 61 62



“Pilot models for environmentally friendly collection and temporary storage of hazardous household waste”

(21.4.2015 – 7.12.2019) 

  • Five Bulgarian municipalities - Saedinenie, Shumen, Levski, Razgrad and Sozopol – launched environmentally and citizens friendly separate collection of hazardous household waste (gardening chemicals and obsolete medicines, left-over paints, waste oil from a cars, cleaning chemicals, mercury thermometers, etc.). They started the operation of specialised facilities where the waste is safely and temporarily stored before it is sent for final treatment to authorised hazardous waste treatment installations. 

  • The pilot for Bulgaria model for separate collection and temporary storage of hazardous household waste covers the 5 municipalities where the pilot centres are located and mobile collection extended to the neighbouring ones where 12 specialized vehicles provide the mobile collection service also the remote settlements. The staff operating the collection points and vehicles is professionally trained to ensure that collection and storage are done in accordance with all Health and Safety regulations.
  • Environmental management of hazardous household waste is now improved in 23 municipalities (Saedinenie, Shumen, Levski, Sozopol and Razgrad, including 18 satellite municipalities). A total of 329’925 citizens are covered by a system for separate collection of hazardous household waste.
  • To support policy related to separate household waste collection at local and national level, the project also co-financed an analysis of the morphological composition of households waste in the country. Separate reports providing information on different types and quantities of waste collected in each Bulgarian municipality as well as at national level were elaborated by the project. The reports were provided by the Executing agency of the project to all 265 municipalities. The reports are also available at (https://swiss-contribution.bg/documents/dokladi) and (https://bit.ly/338XTAo). In addition, Guidelines for the Management of Bulky Waste in Bulgaria (https://swiss-contribution.bg/documents/drugi) and Technical specifications for an electronic system under Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 were also elaborated and adopted by the Ministry of Environment and Water.
  • The 5 pilot centres serve as successful examples to the other municipalities. The MOEW (https://www.moew.government.bg/en/) and EMEPA (http://pudoos.bg/) will consider the experience and information from the project for setting up the policy on separate collection and disposal of hazardous household waste in Bulgaria.
  • The committed Swiss co-financing to the Project was CHF 7’499’776 out of which CHF 5'096’954 or 68 % were eligibly spent.