Serbian Environmental Protection Minister Irena Vujovic on Friday announced large investments in the environment this year including the construction of waste water treatment facilities and sewer systems in 28 local communities.
She told pro-government daily Vecernje Novosti that her ministry will tackle illegal waste dumps, build two transfer stations and shut down unsanitary landfills in several places across Serbia. Vujovic said that nine regional waste management centers would be built as soon as possible.
Asked about air pollution, the minister said that air quality “is not at a good level but this is a decades-old problem which we have to tackle more seriously. She said that the ministry will subsidize the replacement of boilers in schools, kindergartens and medical facilities to help them transition to ecologically acceptable fuels, adding that households can also apply for boiler replacement subsidies.
The ministry will also subsidize the purchases of electric and hybrid vehicles and plans to implement reforestation projects.
Vujovic said that her ministry and the Ministry of Mining and Energy agreed to form joint working groups to work on projects and define common goals in achieving European Union environmental standards, adding that Serbia is firmly committed to achieving those high standards. “That is no easy task since Chapter 27 Environment is extremely complex and demands huge finances,” she said.