In light of Poland’s efforts to keep up with Western Europe, its waste management sector has undergone a complete overhaul in a short amount of time. With a mere 1 percent of its municipal waste undergoing thermal treatment, like combustion, Poland’s progress at converting waste to energy is however, still in its infancy.
Wastewater and waste management sector
Every year, Poland produces over 12 million tons of waste, making the country rank 6th in Europe.
Furthermore, there is a sizeable increase in city expansion within Poland itself which will later on, logically need “local solutions.” 80 percent of Poland’s waste comes from the developed urban regions.
25 percent of Poland’s total population is not connected to any wastewater gathering and treatment network. Currently, only 5 percent of the country’s sewage undergoes thermal treatment. As a part of the European Union, Poland is expected to address greater focus on the creation of modern waste treatment investments in the years to come.
Opportunities in the public and private sector
- Insufficiency in landfill plant development and infrastructure
- Lack of knowledge in tech transfer in “mechanical-biological treatment plants” and wastewater treatment
- Increased interest in pyrolysis or conversion of waste into electricity or gas by Polish authorities
- Need for uniform and comprehensive solution in waste collection mechanism
- Need for information campaign and awareness relative to waste disposal and management
- Cooperation opportunities for interested tech and infrastructure partners
- Limited financial sources for waste management initiatives
Specific opportunities in wastewater management
Sludge treatment initiatives in Poland has been quite low accounting for only 3-5 percent and with such a rate, a significant window of opportunity opens up for infrastructure experts and advisory companies.
In 3 years, 3 billion euros were consumed for wastewater treatment and the number is expected to rise in the coming years. Until such time, wastewater management-related investments will bring Poland closer to European requirements.
Presently, these are the opportunities available in this sector:
- Underdeveloped wastewater treatment installations
- Presence of only two incineration plants in the entire country
- Increasing amount of sludge disposed into landfills instead of thermal means
- European and municipal government co-financing of major wastewater projects
With the country’s predicament in managing wastewater sludge which has reached a colossal amount of 9,168,000 tons in 2011, collaboration with foreign partners is needed as a huge chunk thereof still goes to ordinary landfills. Regulatory amendments and country data in Poland are factors to consider in the development of local solutions and tapping the aid of foreign investors in the industry.