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Final Report Summary - INSWAM (Integrated industrial solid waste management in Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina)

The main objective of the INSWAM project was to disseminate existing knowledge and assist the scientific community, decision-makers and other stakeholders of Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina in understanding and implementing, in the near future, appropriate methodologies for integrated management of industrial solid waste. Therefore, the project helped to minimise environmental impacts of the industry and pave the way for sustainable development, so that the environment would be protected while economic growth would be achieved.

Specific case studies in the mining, metallurgical, chemical and construction industries were analysed during the course of the project and resulted in the development of a series of management criteria. Firstly, best available techniques (BATs) were defined, in relation to the Integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC) Directive of the European Union. Their application would enable operators to improve their environmental performance through the implementation of appropriate pollution preventive measures. Secondly, internationally established environmental techniques were utilised for the characterisation of industrial solid waste, the determination of their acid generation capacity and toxicity and the identification of bio-available fractions of hazardous compounds in waste and contaminated soils. Moreover, the life cycle assessment (LCA) concept was introduced to stakeholders, since it would be applied for the systematic reduction of complex relationships to comparably few data sets. Finally, the methodology of risk analysis (RA), based on a source, path and target principle, was promoted, in order to quantify risk and support stakeholders towards effective decision making.

These criteria were subsequently implemented in the selected case studies, so as to establish sustainability indicators and scenarios for the revival of specific industrial sectors. In addition, European legislation was compared to Albanian regulations, and recommendations towards the country's legal framework reinforcement were developed. The project also focused on mapping field research needs and informing stakeholders on the procedure for the preparation of European Framework proposals. The produced knowledge was disseminated via a series of relevant activities, including workshops, development of a project specific website and organisation of thematic young scientists' schools.

Finally, similar actions were applied in the case of Bosnia-Herzegovina, aiming to transfer existing know-how with respect to cost-effective technologies, for the efficient and environmentally friendly management of industrial and municipal solid waste. As a result, the situation regarding waste management was mapped, the existing national strategy plan was improved, proposals for the development of the market were provided, and guidelines for the incorporation of the European Environmental Policy towards sustainable development were introduced.

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