Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center
 Evgeniya Shershunovich, Irina Tochitskaya

Waste Statistics in Belarus: Tight Spots and Broad Scope for Work

The paper presents a study of waste statistics in Belarus based on the examination of Belarusian and European legislation, statistical reporting forms, and databases. The study reveals that the Belarusian statistics on waste faces three types of problems: those associated with the methodology, recording and coverage, and insufficient degree of international comparability of data, in particular, with the European Union countries. Such methodological problems as the blurred boundaries between the definitions of “waste” and “raw materials”, the lack of criteria for categorizing substances or objects as waste, and the interchangeable use of the terms ‘extraction rate’ and ‘recycling rate’ in policy documents have a direct impact on the statistical data collection. Since less than half of the enterprises, which might generate industrial waste, report on it, the question arises whether the statistical data reflect the real level of waste generation, recycling, and disposal in Belarus. Data on municipal solid waste (MSW) have proved to be one of the most serious concern, in particular, because MSW is recorded in volume units. The differences between the Belarusian and European waste classifiers and definitions of key concepts (‘waste’, ‘recycling rate’) complicate the comparative data analysis. In order to promote the creation of the secondary raw material market and the development of waste recycling, attract investments, and encourage the transition to the green and specifically circular economy, Belarus should take steps to strengthen its information environment by improving the quality, international comparability, and access to its waste statistics.

This publication targets a broad audience and is the second in a series of papers on circular economy in Belarus prepared under the Development Project of the Economic Research and Outreach Center (BEROC) supported by SIDA. If you have any questions about the project, please, contact the Project Coordinator, Sergei Vaganov, greeneconomy@beroc.by.