A closed carpenter’s shop in Bogaczewo near Elbląg was invaded by trucks with waste from abroad. This rigmarole was interrupted when the police and the prosecutor’s office became interested. The investigation continues. In the nationwide media in recent months, the problem of illegal landfills, which are imported to our country from abroad, is often discussed. The case is serious, because it threatens to contaminate the environment, especially since such illegal landfills often are set on fire. The investigation concerns bringing seven trucks to the country from abroad with waste weighing about 150 tons. We have also secured some of the containers at the port terminal – informs the district prosecutor Jarosław Żelazek. – We have not brought charges against anyone yet. We are waiting for the opinion of experts who are to determine exactly the composition of this waste. We should receive it within a few weeks, then we will take further steps in this matter. When the police and prosecutor’s office became interested, the proceedings were interrupted. Administrative proceedings were also initiated by the Provincial Inspectorate for Environmental Protection. Illegal storage of waste hazardous for health and the environment is subject to penalty by imprisonment for 3 months to 5 years. The more severe penalty threatens illegal import of waste from abroad – from 6 months to even 8 years.

November 07, 2018

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On 26-28 September you could meet us at the International Trade Fair of Municipal Industry. At our stand dedicated to the innovative waste pyrolysis installations you could learn more about EL PIRO technology, get acquainted with the current Metal Expert offer and talk to us about our research results and plans for future technology development. We would like to thank all participants, our guests and trade fair stuff.

The Incentive System of Waste Management started to operate in Wieluń. Wastesegregation machines were set up in the city, and the residents using them for the best results will receive prizes. The creation of the Incentive Waste Management System was possible due to the city’s participation in the circular economy program, which was organized by the Ministry of the Environment. Under the program, 5 municipalities will receive a total of PLN 45 million for the promotion and implementation of circular economy rules.

The EcoTech system records the throwing of waste into a sorting machine, so-called reverse-vending machine (RVM). In exchange for waste, RVM assigns points to the residents on the smart card and in the mobile application. For the best results in the collection of waste, program participants receive prizes and secondary raw materials go to the recycling industry.

The system operating in Wieluń is based entirely on Polish engineering thought and uses two elements: an IT system (EcoTech System platform from Kraków) and prototypes of segregation machines. The machines now accept only PET bottles and aluminum cans.

Apart from Wieluń, the commune of Krasnobród, Łukowica, Sokoły and Tuczno take part in this pilot program.

16 July 2018

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Polish internet portal of the municipal economy industry decided to take a closer look at the current situation on the sewage sludge sector. Published article presents the problem of the lack of solutions and legal regulations designed directly for sewage sludge.

According to the portal: “Rising amounts of sewage sludge are mainly related to the implementation of the National Program for Municipal Sewage Treatment, under which new sewage treatment plants are created, and old sewage treatment plants are modernized. In 2018, the estimated amount of sewage sludge produced in Poland is around 700,000 tonnes.”
The author of the article accuses that the existing solutions used in the management of sewage sludge do not work. Thermal treatment of sewage sludge was considered the main method, which was to cover in 2018 about 60% (about 424 thousand tonnes) of the total weight of this waste. This has not happened and thermal processing of sediments still accounts for only a few percent.

Marek Gromiec (author of the article) combines the possibilities of using sewage sludge with the current trend of introducing a circular economy: –“There is a convergence of the circular economy with modern water and sewage management and sedimentary management. In addition to the traditional role of wastewater treatment plants – treatment and treatment of wastewater, their new role is the production of various types of resources (especially water and biogenic substances) and energy. This makes it necessary to take into account the coherence and integration of water supply, sewage treatment and sewage sludge processing already at the level of general concepts.”

Unfortunately, the attempts to establish actions and strategies for pro-environmental sludge management do not bring the intended results. Work begun on developing a strategy for sewage sludge for 2014-2020 has been abandoned by the Ministry of the Environment. In turn, the Ministry of Economy, by introducing a ban on the storage of high-calorific waste on January 1, 2016, introduced a ban on the storage of sewage sludge. Sludges according to the Waste Act are treated as waste, although currently in Poland we do not have adequate infrastructure for the processing (recycling and management) of sludge.

Currently, the Ministry of the Environment is working on a strategy for sewage sludge for 2018-2020.
The draft document defines strategic goals as well as activities and tasks aimed at achieving these goals. The activities catalog includes, among others:

  • increasing control over the quality of industrial sewage flowing into the municipal wastewater treatment plant,
  • clarification of the provisions regarding the treatment of sewage sludge in sewage treatment plants.

The Department of Waste of the Ministry of the Environment, responsible for the preparation of the document, examines comments submitted to the draft strategy. Although the middle of 2018 has passed, we can not hear about the completion of works.

In the Polish water and wastewater management there is no modern legislation regarding the processing and management of sewage sludge.The initiative of innovation in this area rests mainly on local governments and depends mainly on the courage and far-sightedness of the management boards of municipal sewage treatment plants.

6  July, 2018

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The environment ministry said a few months ago that it was working on solving the problem of abandoning waste in non-designated areas. Numerous fires in recent weeks have significantly accelerated the process of developing specific regulations. The changes proposed by the government concern two acts: the Act on Waste and the Act on the Inspection of Environmental Protection. What will change?

    • Monitoring of warehouses and waste management facilities

The Commander of the Poviat State Fire Service will be able to carry out inspections of installations and waste storage facilities to meet the requirements set out in the environmental protection regulations.
In addition, the applicant for a permit to collect waste will need to obtain an opinion on the conditions of fire fighting within the plant from the fire brigade. The regulations will allow for the elimination of permits for sites that do not meet the fire safety requirements. Waste warehouses and landfills are to be monitored in order to oversee waste sector. In turn in the event of a fire, monitoring is to help determine the cause and eventual offenders.

    • No more import of waste to Poland

The amendment also introduces a total ban on importing waste to the country for incineration. – “There is no substantive basis for which national waste incineration plants would optimize operating costs by burning waste from abroad (including wastes coming from even other continents, which is very badly received by the public)” – we read in the justification. The draft also includes a total ban on the import of municipal waste and waste generated from the treatment of municipal waste (RDF) into Poland.

    • Funds for a rainy day

Introduction at the stage of obtaining a permit for waste treatment and permission to collect waste to establish an appropriate amount of claims security. It is a solution in case you need to cover the costs related to waste disposal and their management or the effects of an improper activity.

    • Stricter penalties

The project imposes new penalties for crimes committed in connection with conducting business in the waste sector. Sanctions are to be severe: up to 5 years in prison for the sole storage, processing, disposal or transport of waste not in accordance with the law. Financial penalties will also be increased – from 10,000 to even PLN 1,000,000. Also new are the high fines for transporting illegal waste or transporting them to the wrong place – up to PLN 100,000.

    • Inspections

The new regulations will allow, among others strengthen the powers of environmental protection inspectors. They will be able to conduct unannounced inspections 24/7, inspections covering several provinces, and use drones for monitoring.

“1st of September 2018 is the predicted date of entry into force of regulations aimed at sealing waste management in Poland” – said Minister of Environment Henryk Kowalczyk.

20 June, 2018

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On the occasion of World Environment Day, a new report from UN about Waste nad Environment was published. This global outlook presents case studies from more than 60 countries. The report analyzes the complex relationships in our plastics economy and offers an approach to rethink how the world produces, uses and manages single-use plastics. Among the recommendations are specific actions policy makers can take to improve waste management, promote eco-friendly alternatives, educate consumers, enable voluntary reduction strategies and successfully implement bans or levies on the use and sale of single-use plastics.

The authors of the report present both the advantages of plastics (hygienic packaging, non-corrosive, lightweight, easy to transport, etc.), as well as the problems associated with the huge production of plastics for various sectors of the economy and lack of recycling (only 9% of plastic production is recycled and nearly 80% are landfilled or dumps or littered in the environment). The largest amount of plastic waste are disposable packaging.

Although most disposable packaging waste is produced in Asia and North America, as is widely known, large quantities of plastic packaging waste are also produced in Europe.


Interestingly, the report emphasizes not only health aspects for animals and people related to the entry of plastics into the environment, but also economic aspects. Asia-Pacific EconomicCooperation (APEC) estimated a $1.3 billion economic impact of marine plastics to the tourism,fishing and shipping industries in that region alone.


The fight against excessive amounts of plastics should consist of proper waste segregation and efficient transport of waste, as well as economically viable recycling and reduction of landfilled waste. All these activities should be undertaken based on the idea of a circular economy, and above all based on appropriate promotional and educational activities that will help increase the awareness of consumers choosing products in plastic packaging.


June 11, 2018

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In connection with a series of fires in landfills and waste management plants, the Polish government took steps.

– “I recommended that in connection with the fires on landfills, complete today’s meeting of the Council of Ministers with a point regarding this matter. We can not allow criminals to pollute the environment and destroy our health and our children’s health.” – said Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

In recent months, dozens of large fires in landfills have occurred in Poland. Most fires in landfills break out on weekends. By the end of May there were several dozen such fires. In the last days, landfills in Zgierz, Trzebinia, and Wszedenia near Mogilno were burning. Fires also broke out in waste sorting plants – eg in Warsaw or Olsztyn. Henryk Kowalczyk, Minister of the Environment, admitted that the legal system regarding waste is insufficient. For last two months, draft legislative changes have been prepared, including concerning the criteria for issuing permits in waste management and increasing the powers of the Inspection of Environmental Protection.

– “We managed to remove fuel mafia from Poland. In the case of waste it will be similar. (…) It can be assumed that there are a number of irregularities, not some accidental fires “– said Morawiecki.

Kowalczyk informed that a state register of companies operating in this industry is kept, and there will be a register of waste. There will also be severe administrative fines for violation of the regulations, corresponding to the volume of turnover, the amount of waste deposited. The amount of penalties is to be doubled.

The Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Administration have declared joint actions of the police, border and customs services, Road Transport Inspection, and Environmental Protection Inspection on roads used by cars transporting waste to Poland.

Experts also speak about waste mafias.

General Adam Rapacki, a former Deputy Chief Police Commander and former deputy head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration, spoke on radio on the current situation in the waste management sector. The general is of the opinion that the waste industry has been and is threatened by various types of crimes, frauds, and recent fires are the result of a lack of control in this area.

“This problem is complex, these are issues related to illegal waste transport, storage of this waste and collection of fees. These are the problems associated with fictitious recycling, where this waste was often simply put into excavations, gravels or simply burned. It is also a fraud in declaring a certain level of recycling of waste and extorting money in this way. This is the whole area of pathology, which requires much more control from state institutions. “– said Rapacki.

The general believes that using the term “waste mafia” is inappropriate in this case. These activities are not conducted by a large organized group, as in the case of, for example, fuel mafia. These crimes are committed by small groups, local businesses.

Dr. Tomasz Wojciechowski – Member of the European Compost Network Council, plenipotentiary of the North Wielkopolski Chamber of Commerce, court expert of the District Court in Poznań in the field of environmental protection and the creator of the first Polish online waste exchange – said that the problem of fires may arise from unpropriate laws.

– “More than 62 fires this year is not a coincidence. It is a planned, purposeful procedure, using imperfections in the functioning of our entire economy, as well as detailed provisions that make us not enforce the existing law. Legally everything is clear, you know what you can not do, but if the rules are a little bit bended, the effects are what they are “– said Wojciechowski.

It should be added that recently, not only waste that was in the “gray economy” was burning, but also those in legally operating and holding all permits of plants owned by private sector, local governments and companies supervised by local government.

On 1 January 2016, a ban on storing waste with a calorific value of more than 6 MJ / kg came into force. However, as it results from the Waste Act: Art. 25. Item 4. Waste, with the exception of those destined for landfilling, may be stored if the need for storage results from technological or organizational processes (…), but no longer than for 3 years. It is not difficult to notice that starting from 2016, three years expire at the end of 2018. Companies that have been storing the calorific fraction since the entry into force of the ban have another half a year to find a solution for the management of calorific waste fraction.

An additional problem is the fact that the Chinese market is closed for waste imports (since the beginning of 2018, China has ceased to import 24 types of waste). Rising rates for landfilling additionally worsen the situation of these plants. (last year, the rate was PLN 120 / tonne for landfilling of unsorted municipal mixed waste, and in 2020 this rate will amount to PLN 270 / tonne).

The production of alternative fuel from calorific waste is also not solving the problem at the moment. Not all waste management plants can boast of the continuity of RDF management and meet the exacting requirements of practicalyy the only one recipient of RDF – a cement plant.

There is a lack of solutions on the market that would help to develop a calorific, combustible waste fraction. There is no doubt that installations that manage waste ecologically and locally, such as pyrolysis installations fit perfectly into the current niche market.

May 30, 2018

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Gołdap in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship will receive more than PLN 5 million in funding for the modernization of the technological sequence of sludge management in the waste water treatment plant and further construction of the water supply and sewage network. EU support will be provided by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.

Modernization of the sediment part in the waste water treatment plant will contribute to the production of a special product from the processed sewage sludge. This product, after obtaining the decision of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to qualify it as a fertilizer or a measure improving soil properties – will no longer be waste. The start of construction works is planned for the third quarter of 2018 and finish of the project for the end of 2019.

In turn, in the Świętokrzyskie Voivodship, special granulate will be produced from sewage sludge. Ożarów received co-financing in the amount of over PLN 1.7 million for installations for the development of municipal sewage sludge. The investment will be co-financed from the Regional Operational Program of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodship for the years 2014-2020.

The main objective of the project is modernization of the waste water treatment plant, consisting in the construction of a sludge dewatering and granulation system.

The above examples prove that investments in water and sewage management must take into account new ways of managing calorific sewage sludge that can not be stored. In the coming years, the rejection of traditional agricultural use of sewage sludge will be more and more visible.

May 18, 2018

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Polish people in comparison with other European countries produce very little waste. According to the data of the Central Statistical Office, 142 million tons of waste is produced annually in Poland, most of which are waste from mining, energy and industry. The remaining 7% are municipal waste (around 10 million tonnes of waste). Every year, every resident produces about 268 kg, and the EU average is as much as 481 kg per capita. For comparison, the Danes, well-known for their care for nature, per year produce 747 kg of waste, and Germany – 617 kg. The amount of waste produced is systematically increasing.

Unfortunately, waste segregation in Poland still does not work as it should, which in turn means that a large part of waste goes to landfills. The law in force since 2013 requires local governments to implement separate waste collection systems. However, until today, about 10% of municipalities have not developed such systems. In many municipalities, this system is inefficient and tons of secondary raw materials are disposal in landfills, instead of returning to the using as a result of recycling.

According to Central Statistical Office data, only around 21% of municipal waste was recycled in Poland in 2014. In the “old EU” countries, the standard is even 60%. The best results are achieved by Austrians, Germans, and the residents of the Benelux, Scandinavia and Czechs are just behind them.

May 11, 2018

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“Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Oczyszczania” (Municipal Cleaning Company) in Warsaw in the tender for the construction of a waste incineration plant best evaluated the offer of the Chinese company Shanghai Electric Power Construction, which belongs to PowerChina.
The tender was announced in an unlimited mode, in the “design and build” formula in May 2017. The offer was opened at the end of January 2018. The main criterion for the offer evaluation was the price (60%). The remaining criteria were: warranty period (20%), gross electric power in cogeneration (10%) and annual availability of the installation (10%).

The contracting authority’s budget is PLN 999.55 million gross. Details of the offers below (gross price, warranty, electric power, availability):

  • Shanghai Electric Power Construction – PLN 1.038 billion; 60 months; 17.87 MW; 8,000 hours
  • Consortium: Constructions Industrielles de la Méditerranée – CNIM, CNIM Poznań, Porr – PLN 1.728 billion; 36 months; 15.81 MW; 8,000 hours
  • Consortium of Astaldi, Termomeccanica Ecology, Atzwanger – PLN 2.145 billion; 60 months; 16.95 MW, 7900 hours

Offer of the Chinese company, worth the over PLN 1 billion gross, received the highest marks in each category. The deadline for completing the entire task is 36 months.

As emphasized by Municipal Cleaning company, the extension of the incineration plant is a priority project for the Poland capital, its inhabitants and the waste management system.

April 30, 2018

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