Improving Serbia’s waste management and moving towards a circular economy

Project description

Title: Climate Sensitive Waste Management (DKTI)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Serbia
Lead executing agency: Ministarstvo zaštite životne sredine
Overall term: 2018 to 2021



Serbia is gradually modernising its waste management processes. It seeks increased compliance with relevant European Union waste management (WM) policies including ones related to the circular economy (CE). Waste management falls under the remit of local self-governments in Serbia. Most municipalities dispose of waste at non-sanitary landfills, releasing greenhouse gases (GHG) harmful to the climate.

Although primary separation in Serbia is regulated by law, recycling does not work in practice. Recyclables from municipal waste are mostly collected by informal collectors, who are pioneering the provision of recycling services.


The Serbian Ministry of Environmental Protection is cooperating closely with local self-governments to implement - circular economy oriented policies for improved waste management and introduces innovative models for the inclusion of informal resource collectors within municipal waste management systems.



At the national level, the project offers advice to national institutions and business in the waste sector to improve the framework conditions for moving towards a circular economy.

At regional and local level, it supports three regions in implementing pilot projects to introduce circular economy practices in their waste management systems. Parallel to this, the project is improving administrative capacities in order to integrate informal collectors and promote cooperation between municipalities to achieve more integrated waste management services.

The Project’s three major components focus on:

  • policy and strategy consultations at national level to improve the strategic framework conditions by fostering a climate-sensitive circular economy approach to waste management;
  • piloting circular economy business model approaches in cooperation with the private sector;
  • introducing “best practices” for -approaches to waste management that comply to a circular economy at local level to reduce GHG emissions.

Last update: July 2021


Additional information