Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center
 Evgeniya Shershunovich, Irina Tochitskaya

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

The paper presents the study that exploresproblems in the production of waste statistics in Belarus. In particular, it focuses on comparison of Belarusian and EU legislation, definitions, classification, and statistical reporting.The study reveals that the Belarusian statistics on waste has problems in methodology, recording and coverage and international comparability of data, in particular, with the European Unioncountries. Such methodological problems as blurred boundaries between the definitions of “waste” and “raw materials”, lack of criteria for categorizing waste, the interchangeable use of the terms"extraction rate" and "recycling rate" in policy documents and legislationhave direct impact on statistical data collection. Sinceless than half of the enterprises, which might generate industrial waste, report on it, the question arises whether the statistics reflect the real level of waste generation, recycling and disposal in Belarus. Data on municipal solid waste (MSW)has proved to be one of the mostserious concern, in particular, because MSW is counted involume unit (cubic metres) and then converted in mass unit (tonnes) by the means of coefficients. The differences betweenthe Belarusian waste classificationsystem and the European Union one and in the key definitions ("waste","recycling rate") complicatethe comparative data analysis.

In order to promote development of waste recycling, attract investments, in particular FDI, in this sphereandencourage transition to circular economy Belarus should further improve the legislation in waste generation and management, take steps towards its harmonization with thecorresponding EUregulations, enhance accountability of potential respondents regarding data collection and reporting on waste, upgrade the system of MSWand secondary raw materials recording.

This research is done within the BEROC project on the development of green economy in Belarus.