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Sara Petrosyan

Seven Communities in New Garbage Management Project Will Have to Pay Off World Bank Loan

To improve household waste management in Armenia’s Kotayk Province and the town of Sevan, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (ERBD) has issued Armenia a financing package totaling 8.07 million Euros.

3.5 million is in the form of a 15 year loan, coupled with a grant of 3.5 million and a onetime payment of 1 million. The deal was signed on December 9, 2014.

The loan portion will go towards capital expenditures, for the purchase of waste collection trucks and waste containers, and the construction of a new trash dump site.

The new trash dump will be located three kilometers from the community of Lernanist in Kotayk Province.

Household waste will be collected from seven urban communities – Abovyan, Byureghavan, Yeghvard, Tzaghkatzor, Hrazdan and Charentsavan.The town of Sevan, in neighboring Gegharkunik Province, is also included in the program. The old dump sites will be taken off line.

An independent company will be created by the eight communities to operate the project but overall supervision will remain with the Hrazdan Municipality. Technical and professional assistance and advice will be provided by a consultant possessing international experience and selected by competitive process.

It is envisaged that the new dump site will operate for 20-25 years and possibly up to 40, depending on the scope of household garbage to be managed. Plans are for the dump to handle 50-60 tons of garbage per year.

Plans for the dump, to be built over the next ten years, which will be enclosed, have already past preliminary environmental reviews. Six months into operation, the dump site will be inspected to see if it meets international standards.

The seven communities involved in the project will receive the funds and will be held accountable for paying off the loan.. The funds are to be distributed according to each community’s registered population.

Project advisors are concerned that the communities, whose budgets are 75% subsidized by the state, might not be able to pay off the loans 15 years down the road.

Despite statements that garbage recycling is a profitable business, household waste still isn’t recycled in Armenia.

Vache Terteryan, First Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Emergency Situations, says that Armenia isn’t ready for recycling given that the country only sorts four tons of its waste, not enough to attract large recycling investment. He says the situation might change over time as more waste is sorted.

Terteryan says that most professional analysis shows that a minimum of 300,000 tons of garbage are needed to make recycling an economically viable concern.

Terteryan adds that the first steps towards sorting garbage, which are necessary for ultimate recycling, have been planned for, e.g., containers for residents to sort their garbage before it is hauled away.

He said that there are already companies that accept glass, plastic, and other sorted waste.

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