Community funding is available to upgrade the capital’s waste infrastructure. However, while the Bulgarian authorities have been working towards making important new investments, a solution remains some years away.

Court action against Bulgaria over inadequate waste management processes:

The European Commission is taking Bulgaria to the European Court of Justice for failing to put in place an adequate network of disposal installations for household waste in Sofia. This breaches EU waste law which establishes basic waste management requirements that Member States must meet to ensure a high level of protection for the environment and human health.

In October 2007, the commission sent Bulgaria a first written warning about insufficient measures to establish an integrated network of household waste management facilities in the capital. Of the deficiencies identified by the commission, the most important were the lack of a system and installations for the recovery and disposal of the city’s household waste, the lack or inadequacy of temporary storage sites and the lack of adequate pre-treatment of the waste. The commission sent a final written warning in December 2008.

Following a thorough assessment of the Bulgarian authorities’ reply, the commission concludes that Sofia will continue to lack the necessary facilities for several more years. While the commission welcomes the fact that action has been taken towards planning an integrated waste management system for Sofia, there are still considerable uncertainties as to when adequate waste installations will be fully operational.

EU waste law:

The Waste Framework Directive requires Members States to establish an integrated and adequate network of waste disposal facilities, taking into account the best available technologies. This network should enable waste to be disposed of in one of the nearest appropriate installations in order to guarantee a high level of protection for the environment and human health. The objective is to promote waste prevention, recycling and processing for re-use and ensure safe waste disposal.