The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU) are supporting the western Ukrainian city of Khmelnytskyi and adjacent villages to modernise their local solid waste management. Around 300,000 residents will benefit from better waste management, cleaner groundwater and improved air quality.

The agreement on a €36.5 million financial package was signed at the EBRD 2020 Annual Meeting today. As part of the investment, the city of Khmelnytskyi is joining the EBRD Green Cities initiative. Under the programme, the city will develop and implement a Green City Action Plan, which will identify, prioritise and address the region’s most pressing environmental challenges.

It is the second solid waste investment in the country jointly financed by the EBRD and the EU. The Bank is providing a loan of up to €28.5 million to municipal utility company Spetskomuntrans, which is collecting, treating and disposing of solid waste in the Khmelnytskyi region.

This is complemented by a €5 million investment grant from the EU, an additional contribution of up to €3 million from the city of Khmelnytskyi, as well as previous technical cooperation funds provided by the EU and Sweden for the preparation of the project.

The financing package will allow for the closure of the existing landfill and the rehabilitation of the site. Two new cells will be constructed in line with EU standards, equipment will be purchased and modern recycling and composting facilities will be built. Furthermore, the city will buy new waste collection vehicles and waste containers to encourage local residents, public institutions and businesses to separate their waste.

The investment will lead to significant CO2 emission savings of up to 150,000 tonnes per year. It is to be accompanied by an educational campaign in schools, kindergartens and public organisations.

Susan Goeransson, EBRD Director, Head of Infrastructure Europe in the Strategic Infrastructure Group, said: “It is a vital part of our green investments to improve municipal infrastructure and services across the EBRD regions. I am delighted that we are signing this solid waste project in Ukraine in partnership with the EU. Khmelnytskyi is the 43rd city now participating in our growing family of EBRD Green Cities, which is already set to have an impact on more than 50 million citizens from Alexandria to Ulaanbaatar.”

Chloe Allio, Head of Operations Section (Economic cooperation, energy, infrastructure and environment) at the European Union Delegation to Ukraine noted: “The EU is pleased to partner with the municipality of Khmelnytskyi, the EBRD and the government of Sweden in providing financing for a project worth up to €36.5 million to improve the collection, treatment and disposal of solid waste in Khmelnytskyi. Our contribution comes both as an investment grant and as technical assistance. It allows both favourable lending conditions to the beneficiary company and support to the preparatory phases of the project, including via the preparation of environmental and social impact assessments and the development of a regional waste management plan.”

Oleksandr Serhiiovych Symchyshyn, Mayor of Khmelnytskyi, said: “The resolution of environmental issues is a key priority for the city authorities. The construction of new recycling and composting facilities and the rehabilitation of the existing landfill will not only benefit the environment, it will allow us to introduce international solid waste management standards in Khmelnytskyi. I would also like to express gratitude to the EU Neighbourhood Investment Platform for the investment and technical cooperation grants, which are necessary for the implementation of this project.”

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Ukraine. The Bank has invested more than €14.4 billion across 479 projects in the country to date. The EBRD is focusing on energy efficiency and energy security, unlocking Ukraine’s agricultural and industrial potential, providing quality infrastructure and strengthening the financial sector.