At long last the parliamentary work on the new Polish waste-to-energy act has been completed. On July 1 2011 the Parliament adopted the Law on Maintaining Cleanliness and Order in Municipalities. The bill amended certain other laws and was signed by the president on July 15 2011.

The act provides for fundamental amendments to waste management systems and should significantly change plans for the construction of waste-to-energy plants in Poland. Before the amendments, municipalities had limited legal means for assuming direct responsibility for the collection and handover of municipal waste for such plants, and limited means for the selection of a specific location or plant, as they did not own the municipal waste produced on their territory.

At present, there is only one waste incineration plant in Poland, located in Warsaw. There is a lack of interest among companies at present for the construction of waste-to-energy plants, despite the possibility of using EU funds or the National Environmental Protection and Water Management Fund to finance such projects. The new act aims to ensure that companies that invest in waste-to-energy will have uninterrupted access to a steady flow of municipal waste for such plants.

The new law will come into force on January 1 2012 and will repeal previous regulations from September 13 1996.

For further information on this topic please contact R Adam Kozłowski or Hubert Moryson-Kowalski at Norton Rose Piotr Strawa and Partners LP by telephone (+48 22 581 4900), fax (+48 22 581 4950) or email ([email protected] or [email protected]).