Assessing the Sustainability of the Lithuanian Hazardous Waste Management System


Address correspondence to:
Jurgita Gaiziuniene
Kaunas University of Technology, Institute of Environmental Engineering
K. Donelaicio str. 20-310, LT-44239 Kaunas, Lithuania


Human activities generate waste, whose amounts tend to increase as the demand for quality of life becomes greater and greater. Hazardous waste (HW) generally makes up only about 1% of all waste in Europe; nevertheless, it presents a serious risk to the ecosystem and human health unless managed and treated safely. Several countries of the European Union (EU) report treatment rates of HW in excess of 40%; the others export a large portion of it. Notwithstanding that lots of efforts have been made to properly identify, treat, recycle, store, transport, and dispose of HW, this is still a hot topic faced by the governments of many EU countries.

The objective of this article is to present a sustainable indicators system to assist in the implementation of a modern and sustainable hazardous waste management (HWM) system in Lithuania. The specific goals are (1) to promote the development of a comprehensive monitoring and enforcement system for timely implementation of HWM rules and other related pieces of legislation and (2) to assist in the implementation of training and awareness of the programs of HWM in support of the development of background data for policy making, including improvement of a hazardous waste identification scheme. The emphasis is put on preventing future discharges of HW by promoting the actions that will result in avoidance, recycling, or recovery of the otherwise hazardous waste.