The EBRD is lending the County of Arges, in southern Romania, €6.2mn to support a solid waste management programme covering the main municipalities in the county. This is the second such EBRD deal following the Bacau County project this week, and will be coupled with €18.3mn in grant finance from the European Union under ISPA, a programme supporting infrastructure projects in Accession countries, that will finance a new EU-compliant landfill.

The EBRD loan will support a county programme to create a new regional landfill, improve solid waste collection facilities, and help close illegal dumpsites and landfills incompliant with the EU. The loan will specifically finance waste collection and transportation trucks, waste collection containers, and containers that will support waste segregation, recycling and composting. The bank will also work with the county to integrate private companies to boost private public partnerships in the sector.

Thomas Maier, EBRD director for municipal and environmental infrastructure, says Romania faces major challenges in modernising solid waste management, especially as the country’s accession to the EU draws nearer. This is the EBRD’s second such loan in Romania and one the bank will build on across other county’s in the country, says Maier. A major role for the bank in new projects in this sector will be to couple the private and public sector in infrastructure projects, he adds.

Constantin Nicolescu, president of the Arges County, says the EBRD loan is important in supporting a two-part programme being implemented by the county that should improve waste management across the whole of Arges County, covering the capital Pitesti, as well as centrally located municipalities and rural areas – in all, a population of around 650,000.