TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT IN LITHUANIA
Growing consumption of goods, production and usage of various chemicals inﬂuence the amount of different hazardous waste (HW) ﬂows. Society is increasingly facing the problem how to treat and where to dispose of waste in environmentally sound, and economically efﬁcient way, also taking into account a social aspect.
Waste management is one of the principal pollution problems in many countries, and its control has so far not been addressed in a sustainable analysis. Each year in the European Union alone people throw away 1.3 billion tons of waste, 40 million tons of which being hazardous. HW generally constitutes about 1% of the total waste amount generated in Europe; nevertheless, it presents a serious risk to the ecosystem and human health if not managed and treated properly. Several EU countries report HW treatment rates over 40%, the others export a large of portion of HW. Recently, lots of efforts having been put into proper HW identiﬁcation, treatment, recycling, storage, transportation and/or disposal, this issue is still hot among the governments of the EU.
In spite of the fact that all European Union legal requirements concerning HW management are transferred to Member States legal framework, there are still a number of problems concerning inefﬁciency of an HW management system and Lithuania is not the exception. The total amount of waste generated in 2008 in Lithuania is about 7.8 million tons; about 145 thousand tons are considered as HW. While the incineration plant and landﬁll for HW is not built, HW is temporarily stored, processed, exported or managed in the companies which have the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) permits. It aims to manage HW in a more environmentally friendly way. However, the current HW management is not developed on an integrated approach, which allows to evaluate the environmental impact throughout the life cycle and to use cost-effective HW management processes, and all available technical and technological capabilities. The legal system determines the main HW management objectives, but compliance with them is often more formal than real.
Despite of the fact that waste has to be managed in accordance with the waste hierarchy principles, the hierarchy has some limitations. The latter restrictions motivate interested parties to look for the possibilities of more efﬁcient HW management. An integrated waste management concept is considered as a tool for sustainable HW management. Environmental system analysis, integrated approach and tools for HW management system assessment are discussed and brief analysis of HW management in Lithuania is introduced in the paper.
The aim of this paper is to analyze HW management system in Lithuania and propose the tools for more efﬁcient HW management in the context of sustainable development.