In this lesson, we will delve into the key legislative aspects related to waste management in the Republic of Serbia. We’ll also explore the waste substances associated with end-of-life vehicles.

Introduction to Waste Management Legislation

  • Waste, as defined by Serbian law, includes materials generated in production, services, consumption, and those excluded from use.
  • Used passenger vehicles fall under the category of waste.
  • Key laws and regulations pertaining to recycling used cars include the Law on Environmental Protection and the Law on Waste Management.

Recycling Industry Growth in Serbia

  • Recycling is a growing industry in Serbia, employing over 10,000 people in the last three years.
  • There are now 2,200 companies involved in waste collection and recycling, a significant increase from 2009 when there were only 200.

Challenges in End-of-Life Vehicle Management

  • Despite having 2.3 million registered vehicles with an average age of 16.5 years, Serbia lacks a systematic approach to vehicle recycling.
  • This deficiency leads to significant resource losses and negative ecological consequences.
  • The nation’s journey towards European Union membership has prompted a more serious approach to end-of-life vehicle management.

Relevant National Legislation

  • The Law on Waste Management
  • Strategy for Waste Management (2010-2019)
  • Methods and Procedures for Managing Waste Vehicles
  • These legislative documents cover various aspects of end-of-life vehicle management, including responsibilities, procedures, records, and compliance with EU directives.

Challenges in Implementing Legislation

  • Serbia faces challenges in implementing waste management legislation due to the relatively young state of its recycling industry.
  • Compliance with legal provisions and mindset changes require time and effort.
  • Treatment of end-of-life vehicles often does not meet environmental protection requirements.

1 The Role of the Waste Management Program (2022-2032)

  • In line with EU directives and a transition to a circular economy, the Waste Management Program for 2022-2032 was developed.
  • The program focuses on waste avoidance, transforming waste into high-quality secondary raw materials, and fostering a well-functioning secondary raw materials market.
  • Specific goals and actions align with the EU’s circular economy objectives.

EU Directives and Their Impact

  • Various EU directives, such as those related to waste vehicles, batteries, and waste electrical and electronic equipment, influence Serbia’s waste management practices.
  • These directives aim to prevent waste generation, promote recycling, and improve environmental performance.

2 Waste Substances in End-of-Life Vehicles

  • End-of-life vehicles have diverse compositions, including iron/steel (55-70%), non-ferrous metals (3-8%), plastic and textile (8-18%), rubber (2-4%), work fluids (2-5%), and other materials (5-10%).
  • Hazardous substances in old vehicles include fuel, engine oil, oil filters, braking fluid, coolant, batteries, airbags, and electronic components.

2.1 Waste Vehicles

  • Serbia generates around 40,000 tonnes of waste vehicles annually.
  • In 2020, only 2,391 tonnes were treated, highlighting the gap between waste generation and treatment capacity.
  • Several legal entities hold permits for waste vehicle management.

2.2 Waste Tyres

  • Waste tyres, a non-hazardous waste (16 01 03), make up a significant portion of waste.
  • In 2020, around 27,000 tonnes of waste tyres were recycled, and some were used as fuel in the cement industry.
  • Serbia aims to improve waste tyre collection and recycling.

2.3 Used Batteries and Car Batteries

  • Vehicle batteries consist of lead, nickel-cadmium, and silver-zinc types.
  • In 2020, Serbia generated approximately 17,951 tonnes of vehicle batteries.
  • Proper handling and recycling of vehicle batteries are essential.

2.4 Waste Oils

  • Waste oils, classified as hazardous waste, totaled 36,792.9 tonnes in 2020.
  • Only a fraction of this waste was treated and recycled.
  • Serbia aims to improve waste oil collection and treatment.

2.5  Electrical and Electronic Equipment Waste

  • Waste from electrical and electronic equipment, including hazardous components, is inadequately managed.
  • In recent years, Serbia placed around 60,000 tonnes of electrical and electronic equipment on the market.
  • Serbia is working to establish a collection system for household electronic waste.


  • The Waste Management Program for 2022-2032 aligns with EU directives and promotes a circular economy, emphasizing waste avoidance, recycling, and sustainable resource management.
  • Serbia faces challenges in implementing waste management legislation, but efforts are underway to bridge the gap between waste generation and treatment capacity.
  • Addressing waste management comprehensively is essential for Serbia’s environmental protection, resource conservation, and alignment with European Union standards.
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