Published 9 January 2024

Support to reforms of the Municipal Solid Waste Sector (MSW) in Ukraine

SALAR International and Avfall Sverige (Swedish Waste Management) is currently exploring how to best offer support to reforms of the Municipal Solid Waste Sector (MSW) in Ukraine. A preparatory design phase financed by Sida is carried out over a period of seven moths, between September 2023 and March 2024.

Today, Ukraine is primarily managing its waste through open landfills, including many sporadic landfills. The waste burial system has existed in Ukraine for the past 30 years, and somewhat simplified it involves a fragmented monopoly with different networks of waste carriers. In contrast to many European countries, Ukraine has a significant low level of recycling and recovery of municipal solid waste and a high rate of waste disposal in landfills. As of 1 January 2021, Ukraine had a total of 6,045 landfills and dumps covering 8,800 hectares of the country’s territory. The wartime has made the situation even worse, with non-existing collection of waste as well as landfill fires, destruction of infrastructure, intermediate dumps and enormous quantities of debris and demolition waste.

In recent years, some improvement have been implemented, but still, these are to be considered as single bets and investments and some of these efforts may not be in line with EU criteria. In June 2022, Verkhovna Rada (the Parliament) adopted the bill (2207-1D) on a new legal framework for waste management. The law entered into force in July 2023, and it is basically Ukraine's first real waste management reform since independence. The legal framework is based on the requirements of EU directives, and the adoption of the law is seen as a real opportunity to initiate the changes that Ukraine needs, among other things, to meet EU membership requirements.

SALAR and Avfall Sverige as a forerunner

SALAR, as a prominent representative of local governments, is in a strong position to help support reforms of the Municipal Solid Waste Sector in Ukraine, through SALAR International that has a long history of working with Ukraine. As the main national stakeholder and association in the field of Waste Management and recycling in Sweden, Avfall Sverige can contribute with knowledge about waste management and exchange the best practices, innovation and ideas. Avfall Sverige also has experience in long term commitments internationally in support of municipal waste management reforms.

Overall objectives in the design phase of the project

The overall objective of the design-phase is to propose a multi-year programme in support of relevant focus areas for the municipal solid waste management sector, which are clearly embedded across both national and local context and needs, and in line with agreed Swedish and Ukrainian priorities and strategies.


Pontus Förberg
Project Manager