Circulareconomy | Kosovo | Wastemanagement

From waste management to circular economy in Kosovo

This challenge is in phase: Understand target

How might we improve recycling, treatment & recovery of construction and demolition waste in Kosovo in order to reduce illegal dumpsites in all seven regions?

Construction and demolition waste is a major contributor to the overall waste generated in Kosovo, and usually ends up in illegal dumpsites, which poses significant environmental and social risks. The problem is exacerbated by the lack of education and awareness about proper waste disposal practices. Addressing the challenge also calls for a transition towards a circular economy model. By viewing waste as a resource and encouraging the recycling and reuse of construction materials, the country can move away from the linear approach, thus reducing the burden on natural resources and waste generation. Therefore, the objective of the 19th lab of tomorrow programme is to close the loop between producers of waste and municipalities by creating innovative products that reduce pollution and other negative environmental impacts. 




At present, Kosovo generates approximately 620,000 cubic meters of Construction and Demolition Waste (CDW), equivalent to 515,000 tons annually. This amount is expected to substantially increase by approximately 70% until 2040. The waste is disposed of either at sites designated by local authorities (with 22 temporary storage sites identified) or at one of the approximately 760 illegal dumpsites across Kosovo.

There is minima recycling of materials, with only few initiatives by the private sector in place. Therefore, the 19th lab of tomorrow program focuses on improving the C&D waste management system regarding re-use, recycling and upcycling, towards viable structures of circular economy. The program will focus on improving the entire value chain from CDW creation, to collection & transport, sorting, treatment, selling and further use of these materials while identifying further business opportunities and raising awareness for a new market with great opportunities.

We believe that tackling these issues can lead not only to decreasing randomly disposed CDW in landfills across Kosovo, but can also reduce the use of natural resources and related CO2-emissions, create new jobs and addresses opens opportunities for export of recycled CDW materials.