Association of secondary raw material recyclers opens in Kazakhstan

Batyrbek Aubakirov will lead the association / The Association of Secondary Raw Material Recyclers

A new nonprofit organization – the Association of Secondary Raw Material Recyclers – was officially registered in Kazakhstan on March 3, 2023. The new entity is going to represent the interests of the recycling industry. Batyrbek Aubakirov, head of Kazakh Export’s Public Council and director of the Packaging Association of Kazakhstan, has been appointed head of the new association.

According to Aubakirov, the association will focus on improving legislation, increasing transparency within the industry by digital means, facilitating the training of new specialists, providing address support to secondary raw material recyclers and introducing a mechanism for subsidizing.

He also noted that the business has huge faith in secondary raw material recycling as the industry’s future seems promising for all interested parties. Secondary raw material recycling makes waste deposits smaller, helps to save natural resources and improves the ecological situation in the country. So far, Kazakhstan recycles just 3,500 tons of plastics out of the 100,000 tons the country accumulates each year. All the rest of it is buried in waste deposits or exported to Russia and Uzbekistan, where plastics can be recycled into something useful. With that in mind, Kazakhstani businessmen can make a lot of money out of this, Aubakirov said.

«We want to know why it’s this way. Do we have weak legislation or is there a shortage of qualified specialists? We don’t want any cheating rules. Our goal is to make the industry a fast-growing sector of the economy. Recycling can be very profitable, so we want the industry to be attractive for businesses, investors and the government. There are lots of potential investors, but at this point, they are reluctant to work with us. We want five of the ten investors in KazInvest to be interested in recycling. We need the market to revive,» he highlighted. 

From a technical point of view, Kazakhstan’s recycling plants are ready to work with all types of recyclable waste. The initiative will boost the economy and reduce pressure for waste deposits within the country, Aubakirov believes.

The newly established association isn’t the only entity in the sphere. For example, KazWaste, the Kazakhstan Waste Management Association with 11 recycling companies as members, has been working in the country since 2013. KazWaste managed to get approval for its standard of requirements to waste management. In 2019, the entity established an exchange for buying and selling different types of waste and secondary raw materials.

In 2016, Aliya Nazarbayeva, the youngest daughter of Ex-President Nursultan Nazarbayev, allegedly established a company known as Operator ROP. This company used to collect disposal fees from car importers and automakers. Last year, the company was disbanded and all its assets were transferred to Zhasyl Damu, a state-owned company. According to Aubakirov, the association is cooperating with the company.

«We will share our opinion on the current situation and potential risks. I think it will boost the industry and make it more attractive for investors,» he said.

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