Uzbekistan: Successful Reforms in Environmental Protection and Waste Management

Photo: TCA

Uzbekistan is carrying out consistent and effective reforms in the field of waste management, improving the quality of services provided to the population and combating environmental pollution. The Decree of the President “On measures to improve the waste management system and reduce its negative impact on the environmental situation” is a significant step that will become the starting point for a new stage of development in this area, Minister of Ecology, Environmental Protection and Climate Change, Aziz Abdukhakimov emphasized.

“The main goal is to further improve the quality of household waste management services, bringing the level to international standards, increasing the level of waste processing, preventing accumulation in landfills, minimizing the negative impact on the environment, achieving the ‘zero waste’ principle and other tasks. This decree is very important today, when environmental problems associated with climate change are escalating,” he stated.

According to the decree, a number of measures will be taken to further improve waste management and prevent environmental pollution. In particular, as part of the integrated Safe City system, the detection of environmental violations using cameras will be introduced. Entrepreneurs will be given the right to photograph and video record environmental violations and be able to report this to the state environmental control inspectorate in a manner similar to the right to identify violations of traffic rules. Citizens will have the opportunity to independently install photographic and video recording equipment at the sites of spontaneous landfills at their own expense. Reports of violations will be encouraged with a reward of 20% of any fine levied.

From the beginning of 2024, minimum tariffs for waste collection will be regularly reviewed, and services will be combined into a single system. It is expected that there will be a substantial increase in liability for violating the rules on the dumping of waste, with the possibility of confiscation of items and devices used to carry out such violations written into the measures.

The document also establishes administrative responsibility for the use of chemical, biological and bacteriological agents during the construction or reconstruction of buildings which leads to damage to the environment.

In order to improve sanitary and hygienic conditions for residents, increase the attractiveness of tourist areas and reduce the negative impact on the environment, entrepreneurs will be allowed to install sanitary and hygiene points in public places, social buildings, and specially designated areas. The distribution of permits for the installation of such points will be carried out through electronic auctions. Entrepreneurs who process or dispose of waste in an environmentally friendly way will be allocated “green subsidies.”