Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. Excluding Crimea, Ukraine has a population of about 42.5 million, making it the 32nd most populous country in the world. Its capital and largest city is Kiev with three million people. Ukrainian is the official language and its alphabet is Cyrillic. The dominant religions in the country are Eastern Orthodoxy and Greek Catholicism. Ukraine has an area of just under 600,000 km2, making it the largest country entirely within Europe and the 46th largest country in the world.
The territory of modern Ukraine has been inhabited since 32,000 BC. During the Middle Ages, the area was a key center of East Slavic culture, with the powerful state of “Kievan Rus” forming the basis of Ukrainian identity. Following its fragmentation in the 13th century, the territory was contested, ruled and divided by a variety of powers, including Lithuania, Poland, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Russia. A Cossack republic emerged and prospered during the 17th and 18th centuries, but its territory was eventually split between Poland and the Russian Empire, and finally merged fully into the Russian-dominated Soviet Union in the late 1940s as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1991 Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union in the aftermath of its dissolution at the end of the Cold War.
Today, over 13 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) is generated every year in Ukraine. A per capita annual volume constitutes about 300 kg with a significant difference observed between urban and rural areas. The MSW recycling level in Ukraine varies between 3 and 8 percent, which means that more than 90 percent of MSW is forwarded into landfills and unauthorized dumpsites. An estimated 10,000 ha of land is covered by approximately 6,700 landfills and dumpsites and yet it is estimated that at least 600 new landfills are needed.
Apart from occupying land resources, landfills also emit pollutants and greenhouse gases into atmosphere, surface soils, ground water and subsoil, adversely affecting plants and wild animals, and worsening the quality of life in nearby residential areas. Because of the lack of segregated collection and removal of waste containing toxic components, environmental contamination with hazardous substances is growing.
The current state of the Ukrainian MSW sector is quite similar to that of the Central and Eastern European countries 10 to 15 years ago. The MSW sector in Ukraine may evolve along two possible scenarios; business-as-usual and innovative. The former assumes keeping the current situation and implies that in the future recycling will remain on the level of 7-8 percent, while the growing volumes of MSW will be disposed of on active and new landfills. The latter suggests introduction of innovative waste recycling technologies and management models in the sector.
The innovative scenario for the Ukrainian MSW management will allow larger cities, such as Kyiv, Lviv, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkov, and others, to reach approximately a 60 percent level of recycling. This way, by 2025, more than 100 million tons of valuable materials and supplies that in the past were irreversibly lost can be put back into the economic circulation. The revenue from this recovery is estimated at €7 billion. The decreasing volumes of waste disposed of on landfills can reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by over 80 million tons of CO2 equivalent.
WOIMA has the perfect solution to help Ukraine reach their waste recycling targets. We have developed a decentralized waste management and power generation solution named “WOIMA Ecosystem” that helps countries and cities to cope with the increasing waste challenges that they are facing. WOIMA Ecosystem recycles the waste into raw materials and energy in the most efficient manner reducing the waste quantity by over 95%. The small-to-medium size WOIMA Ecosystems are distributed close to where the waste is generated, thus offering significant waste logistics and power distribution savings in addition to solving the waste problem.
Contact WOIMA, if you see yourself as collaboration partner in saving the planet. Ask more about turning waste into wellbeing with WOIMA Circular Economy Solutions.