A booming waste recovery nation

Poland is «Europe’s China» when it comes to waste management, and will play an important part in EU’s plan for increased recycling, says Country Manager for Geminor in Poland, Andrzej Zientarski.

In April 2019, Geminor opened a Polish office and appointed Andrzej Zientarski Country Manager. The resource management company’s presence in Poland comes as a response to the booming waste market in the country.

–  Poland has become an important country in terms of waste management in Eastern Europe. Especially the extensive production of furniture creates a need for recycled waste wood, which is in deficit in Poland. Geminor is presently taking part in this resourcing by delivering treated waste wood from Norway, Sweden and Germany, and we have numerous RDF and SRF projects underway, says Andrzej Zientarski.

– We are also seeing a growing energy recovery sector in the production of district heating and electricity, as well as cement. There are about 10 Energy-from-Waste plants in Poland today, but this will probably be doubled within two years.

“Europe’s China”

Andrzej Zientarski has several years of experience as a waste resourcing professional in Poland. He describes his home country as a market which imports treated quality waste from Western Europe – mainly because of the present market mechanisms.

– Today, Poland is landfilling 45 percent of its waste, which is not ideal. The challenges are mainly related to the Polish waste producers’ lacking ability to sort and deliver quality waste, combined with pricing, gate fee issues and political will. These factors have made Poland a receiving country for European waste, and have given the country the nickname “European China”, Zientarski explains.

– At the same time, the development is positive. Poland has been experiencing a permanent GDP growth since its transformation in 1989, mainly thanks to the country’s industrialisation. We are now seeing the emergence of numerous state-of-the-art recycling facilities, Zientarski says.

The Polish plan

CEO at Geminor, Kjetil Vikingstad, explains the management company’s intentions with the Polish expansion.

– By being present in several European markets we can offer the services both waste producers and off-takers in Poland are interested in: Reliable, stable deliveries and professional support. The national markets in Europe, like the Polish, are in constant change – which increases the demand for professional waste management services: Factors such as waste quality and steady supply – regardless of season – will be increasingly important, says Vikingstad.