“Waste” from the reform. Part 1: Waste in the language of law

Early last year, the Russian Ecological Operator (REO) announced the launch of the federal project, “Circular Economy”. In the description, the authors of the initiative indicated that the transition to this progressive path “is intended to solve fundamental problems in the sphere of waste management”. It was stated that the project will create eight pilot eco-industrial parks in each federal district and will continue to “work with legislation that will maximize the efficient use of resources.”

On March 1, 2022, amendments to Federal Law No. 89-FZ “On Production and Consumption Waste” came into force. As follows from the document, collection, transportation, treatment, recycling, neutralization, disposal of wastes of hazard classes I and II will now be carried out by the Federal State Unitary Enterprise “Federal Ecological Operator”. The same organization - a subsidiary of RosAtom - will take under its control the federal state information system of accounting and control over the handling of wastes of hazard classes I and II. It is to this organization that individual entrepreneurs and legal entities must submit such waste. 

On March 25,  Russian Government Resolution No. 467, was adopted, according to which, starting from 2023, part of the budget funds from the environmental levy is supposed to be allocated for subsidies to companies and individual entrepreneurs producing goods from recycled waste. At the same time, as before, a significant part of the environmental levy will be allocated for the creation of waste recycling plants and the purchase of containers for the separate collection of municipal solid waste.

On May 13, the RF Government issued Resolution No. 868 “On the Unified Federal State Information System for Accounting of Waste from the Use of Goods”, which would be created to “automate the processes of collection, processing and storage of information in the sphere of waste management”.

On May 20, Russian Government Resolution No. 913 “On Approval of the Regulations on the Federal State Information System of Solid Municipal Waste Accounting” was signed. With the help of this system it is planned to track concluded contracts, tariffs in all regions, volumes of solid municipal waste collection and utilization, as well as to structure this data.

In the summer of 2022, a number of documents related to waste management were adopted. On July 14, amendments were made to the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation (CAO RF), according to which citizens, officials and legal entities became liable “for unloading or dumping waste from vehicles outside the designated places”.

In July, amendments were made to Federal Law No. 280 “On Production and Consumption Waste”, according to which the regional authorities will be able to independently appoint a regional operator for the management of solid waste without a tender, if the tender is recognized as invalid or the operating company early terminated its activities.

Also on this day, amendments were made to Federal Law No. 268 on the obligation of citizens to sort waste and companies to dispose of it. These amendments were called the “law on recyclable materials”. It introduces from 2030 a complete ban on the burial of resources that can be recycled or used again. Among other things, it introduces two new concepts: “secondary resources” and “secondary waste”. The law establishes that individuals whose consumption process generates secondary resources must ensure separate collection in places where solid municipal waste is accumulated, or hand over secondary resources to collection points.

On October 5, 2022, Resolution No. 1726 of the Government of the Russian Federation “On Approval of the Rules for Providing Subsidies from the Federal Budget in the Form of Property Contribution to Ensure Achievement of Certain Results of the Federal Project ‘Circular Economy’”.  was adopted. According to the document, the subsidy may be provided to companies, including for the commissioning of facilities for the utilization of secondary resources and the production of products from secondary raw materials. The list of expenses may include various items, for example, the cost of organizing the issuance of bonds.
On October 6, the Russian Government issued Resolution No. 177, according to which the funds received by the federal budget from the environmental levy will be allocated for the creation or reconstruction of facilities for the treatment, utilization and disposal of solid municipal waste in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation.

The chain of legislative transformations aimed at waste management may include the “Concept of Technological Development of Russia for the period until 2030”, approved by the Government of the Russian Federation in February 2023, which has a chapter “Introduction of the best available technologies (BAT) and increase of resource efficiency of enterprises”. The document states that “by the end of 2024, facilities that have the greatest negative impact on the environment must comply with BAT or begin the necessary modernization for this purpose”. It also talks about ways to financially support this activity - preferential tax regimes and subsidies.

On August 4, 2023, amendments to the Federal Law “On Production and Consumption Waste” were published. They provide for a number of provisions describing how to fulfill the regulations on extended producer responsibility (EPR) in the period until 2027. The document implies incentives for producers to switch to recyclable packaging of goods. The norms of the law will be phased in starting January 1, 2024.

In 2023, we can say that the “legislative machine” with regard to waste management did not work as actively as in previous years. Basically, normative acts adopted in previous years came into force.

This article is part of an analysis of garbage reform over the past two years. Read also:
“Waste” from the reform. Part 2: Waste reform in official reports and
“Waste” from the reform. Part 3: The Reform: a view from the regions and alternative opinion