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Rubbish Creates Jobs and Energy in Central and Eastern Europe

Eastern European Member States have a significant untapped potential for converting wastes from farming, forestry, industry and households to low-carbon biofuels for transport, and for creating up to 5,000 permanent jobs in Romania, 7000 in Poland and over 1000 in the Czech Republic or Slovakia (See Figure). However, these jobs will only be created if the EU sets ambitious 2030 policy to promote sustainable low-carbon transport fuels, backed by strong sustainability safeguards. These are the results of a new study by the International Council of Clean Transportation (ICCT).

Jobs created in refining waste in Europe. Source: ICCT
Jobs created in refining waste in Europe. Source: ICCT

For example, employment could be created in Romania in the following areas:

  • Up to 15,000 temporary jobs created in the construction of 27 bio-refineries.
  • Up to 1,000 permanent jobs required to operate these bio-refineries.
  • Up to 4,000 permanent jobs required for the collection of residue material.

The results are based on data from the European Union’s statistics office Eurostat and input from a coalition of technology innovators and green NGOs.

Across Europe as a whole, the ICCT found that if all sustainably available waste from farms, forests, households and industry could be used for transport fuels, there would be sufficient fuel to displace about 37 million tonnes of oil annually by 2030, helping put further downward pressure on oil prices. To put this in context, this technical potential would be equal to 16 per cent of Europe’s road transport fuel demand in 2030. Scaling up the industry to this highest technical potential could create up to 300,000 direct jobs across Europe.

“Even when taking account of possible indirect emissions, alternative fuels from wastes and residues offer real and substantial carbon savings,” said Chris Malins who led the analysis for the International Council on Clean Transportation. “The resource is available, and the technology exists – the challenge now is for Europe to put a policy framework in place that allows rapid investment.”

The Europe-wide analysis Wasted: Europe’s untapped resource can be downloaded here.

The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) is an independent nonprofit organization founded to provide first-rate, unbiased research and technical and scientific analysis to environmental regulators. Our mission is to improve the environmental performance and energy efficiency of road, marine, and air transportation, in order to benefit public health and mitigate climate change. For more information visit

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