Nowadays current status of this field of environmental management is largely determined by the recent history of waste management and prevailing conditions in the country.
During the Soviet period huge multisectoral industrial machine was operating in Georgia. Recent transitional processes resulted the almost complete collapse of country’s economy. Most industrial enterprises are in a stand-still or operating in the very limited regime. Centralized control of industrial sectors were based on so called “high effectively” approaches, which basically meant unreasonably high rates of production. “High effectively” has never meant the integrated consideration of environmental, social and economic issues.
Separate agencies were responsible for the management of generated industrial waste within the sector and the decision-making has also been exercised within the competence of the respective agency. Naturally this has resulted in a wide-spread practice of disposing the industrial waste on the territories of industrial enterprises. Frequently the industrial waste was disposed of on communal waste landfills sites without any reference to its toxicity and environmental impact. Disposal to specialized landfills were organized only under exceptional circumstances (e.g. radioactive waste disposal ).
Decision-making in the field used to be the unilateral process, public participation has never been practiced and there was no sharing of responsibilities. The waste management system has never been fully operational, nor the unified legislation in place.
Today the conditions are even worse. Apparently, the economic recovery will inevitably lead to increased production of industrial waste and simultaneous growth in the volumes and spectrum of communal waste in favor of non-recyclable wastes, such as plastic packaging, bottles, disposed consumer goods, etc.
Due to over-filled old landfill sites and practically disintegrated system of waste management, several uncontrolled and illegal landfill sites are emerging in large cities. Near villages and other settlements disposal sites are located near the water bodies as a rule. For years the generated industrial waste is disposed in the vicinity of the enterprises under the open air, easily susceptible to atmospheric precipitation.
The Ministry of Environment, the major authority in the country for government environmental control, will have to increase efforts to develop novel approaches. International experiences with waste management systems should be combined with prevailing conditions in the country and scares but still existing local experience in order to: