The Egyptian Waste Management law no. 202 of 2020 (the “Law”) was issued on October 13, 2020 and entered into force on 14 October 2020. The Law replaces the Prime Minister Decree no. 2005 of 2015 regulating the waste management authority as well as article (8) of the law no. 38 of 1967 on public cleanliness. The Law provides that the Prime Minister shall issue the executive regulations of the Law within six months of its entry into force (the “Executive Regulations”).
THE WASTE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY
Articles (3) to (15) of the Law establish a waste management authority (the “Authority”) and regulate its management, aims and responsibilities.
Pursuant to the Law, the Authority aims to regulate, track, audit, evaluate and develop all integrated waste management activities. The Law defines integrated waste management as “the integration between the different activities related to waste, including the process of limiting its generation, reuse, collection, storage, sorting and transportation to the sites or facilities designated for it; in addition to its treatment, development, recycling, and final disposal in an environmentally safe manner”.
The Authority shall attract and encourage investments in the field of Integrated Waste Management activities in a manner that guarantees achieving sustainable development and track the implementation of the plans required to regulate waste management in cooperation with governmental institutions, municipal governments, the private sector, NGOs and international organizations. The Authority is also empowered to license all integrated waste management activities in relation to non-hazardous waste.
In order to achieve its objectives, the Authority may undertake all needed actions and works. The Law authorizes specific actions, including, but not limited to the following:
- prepare the Integrated Waste Management National Strategy in cooperation with the concerned ministries and entities in the manner indicated in the executive regulations of the Law;
- prepare and review the proposals for developing and updating the legislations, laws, regulations, criteria and technical rules that regulate the method of Integrated Waste Management;
- provide technical consultation services and recommendations to the competent administrative entities and the participants in the waste management system;
- prepare technical studies and propose mechanisms to determine the charges for performing integrated waste management services;
- express the technical opinion in the technologies of waste treatment and recycling in coordination with competent ministries and entities;
- provide technical support and prepare the general conditions, rules and procedures required to obtain licenses for practicing activities related to waste management, and grant these licenses; and
- Grant the required licenses to practice any of the activities of the Integrated Waste Management of Non-Hazardous Waste.
WASTE GENERATORS AND POSSESSORS
Waste Generators are defined as persons whose activities produce waste. While Waste Possessors are defined as persons who de facto or de jure possess waste. The Waste Generators and Possessors may take the necessary arrangements pursuant to the waste management hierarchy in order to achieve the following:
- Limit the generation of waste;
- Enhance its reuse;
- Work to guarantee the recycling, treatment and final disposal of waste; and
- Manage waste in a manner that limits any harm to public health and the environment.
The Law imposes general obligations on the Generators and Possessors, which are regulated under articles (16), (18) and (19) of the Law. The obligations of Waste Generators and Waste Possessors include, but are not limited to, the following:
- practice integrated waste management in a healthy and environmentally safe manner;
- provide training and rehabilitation to all workers who undertake work related to practicing such activities;
- provide the means of protection required for implementing the rules of occupational health and safety stipulated under the labour laws; and
- bear the cost of the integrated waste management as determined by the Executive Regulations.
TYPES OF WASTE UNDER THE LAW
The Law divides waste into different categories and imposes varying obligations regarding their management, which can be summarized as follows:
- Hazardous Waste is defined as waste that contains organic or non-organic components or compounds that have a harmful effect on human health or the environment as a result of their physical, chemical or biological characteristics or that contain any dangerous qualities such as contagious, flammable, explosive or toxic substances.
With regards to obligations related to hazardous waste, Article (55) of the Law prohibits the circulation of hazardous substances and waste without an approval from the Authority and a license from the Ministry of Environment. Moreover, it prohibits the disposal or the delivery of Hazardous Substances and Waste except in the places designated for such purpose.
- Non-Hazardous Waste is defined as waste which, by its nature, is not dangerous, whether municipal, industrial, agricultural, demolition and construction waste or their equivalent.
Non-hazardous Waste is classified into:
- Municipal Waste, defined as waste resulting from household activities and other waste that is similar by their nature or composition to household waste, as clarified by the executive regulations of this law.
With regards to Municipal Waste, Article (34) of the Law provides that a monthly fee shall be collected for the provision of integrated waste management services, or any of these services by the Integrated Waste Management Units at the Competent Entity in governorates, districts, cities, localities, villages and new urban communities’ agencies, whether by itself or via third party. The Law includes a sharp increase in waste collection fees. Moreover, Article (38) prohibits the dumping, sorting and treating of Municipal Waste except in the places designated for such purpose pursuant to the procedures to be determined by the Executive Regulations.
- Demolition and Construction Waste, defined as waste that does not result in physical or chemical reactions, such as the waste resulting from exploiting quarries, demolition, building, construction, development and repair, roads, bridges, land cleaning and building sewers.
With regards to Demolition and Construction Waste, Article (42) of the Law imposes an obligation on all persons engaged in demolition and construction works to transport, dispose and recycle Demolition and Construction Waste via licensed persons. Further, it imposes an obligation on the licensees to recycle or dispose of that waste on the sites designated for such purpose.
- Agricultural Waste, defined as waste resulting directly from agricultural or horticultural activities, gardens or trees or resulting from the activities of raising animals or birds.
With regards to Agricultural Waste, Article (45) of the Law provides that Agricultural Waste Generators or Possessors shall take all the measures required to reuse it or treat it in the places of its generation or in the places determined by the Competent Administrative Entity. It also prohibits the dumping of Agricultural Waste in waterways or its disposal in places other than those designated for such purpose.
Industrial Waste, defined as waste resulting from industrial or craftsmanship activities or resulting from any similar activity that does not include hazardous waste. Article (52) of the Law introduces the “Green Mark” system to entice manufacturers to increase the rate of recyclable inputs and to limit their generation of industrial waste. This system will be further detailed by the Authority and the Executive Regulations.
With regards to Industrial Waste, Article (48) of the Law imposes an obligation on Generators of Industrial Waste to keep a register, “The Industrial Waste Register” and furnish the Authority and the Industrial Development Authority with the register periodically. While Article (49) imposes an obligation on the Generators of Industrial Waste to completely segregate it and deliver it to the licensed persons. Moreover, according to Article (51), industrial facilities shall present to the Industrial Development Authority, when submitting the declaration or the request for license, a detailed plan for managing Industrial Waste generated or expected to be generated by the facility pursuant to the specifications set forth by a decree of the Competent Minister in agreement with the Minister of Trade and Industry.
KEY REFORMS INTORDUCED BY THE LAW
Prohibition of Open Burning
Article (10) of the Law prohibits the burning of waste in outdoor places that are not designated for such activity.
Single-Use Plastic Bags
The Law specifically addresses Single-Use Plastic Bags under Article (27) and provides that the manufacture, import and export of Single-Use Plastic Bags shall be in accordance with the conditions, parameters and technical specifications stipulated by a decree of the Minister of Trade and Industries as agreed with the competent minister. While the sale, circulation, storage, free distribution or disposal of Single-Use Plastic Bags is prohibited, unless in compliance with the conditions, parameters and technical specifications stipulated by the Executive Regulations.
Waste Generated Energy Projects
The Law touches upon waste generated energy projects in Article (25) and provides that the Prime Minister shall issue, pursuant to the proposal of the competent minister and in agreement with the Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, the feed-in tariff for waste generated energy projects.
Extended Producer Responsibility
Article (17) of the Law tackles extended producer responsibility by virtue of which the producer bears - totally or partially - the cost of managing the product during its lifecycle, including the post-consumption phase, such as the processes of collecting, recycling and the final disposal of the product. Article (17) provides that the Prime Minister – after obtaining the approval of the Cabinet and pursuant to the proposal of the Competent Minister - shall issue a decree determining the products that are subject to the extended producer responsibility in addition to stating their types, the procedures to be adopted in their regard and the fees to be borne by the producer.
The Law provides for penalties in case of violations under Articles (65) to (80) which range from fines and license suspension to life imprisonment in some instances. In this regard, the Law provides for reconciliation in certain cases against a payment ranging from 50% to 100% of the maximum limit of the fine.
THE EXECUTIVE REGULATIONS
The Executive Regulations of the Law are expected to be issued within six months from the entry into force of the Law. They are expected to include detail regarding the licensing procedures, the cost of integrated waste management activities, the classification of waste as well as clarification with regards to the regulation of Single-Use Plastic Bags, the Extended Producer Responsibility and the “Green Mark” System.