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Amending Law no. 101/2006 would have given sanitation companies the exclusive right to require the companies acting under the jurisdiction of local administrations to cease collaboration with other businesses – waste collection and recycling companies. The result: a serious distortion of competition and a severe impact on vertically integrated markets, like that of waste collection and recycling. The campaign objectives envisaged increasing waste collection and recycling in Romania through the creation of a legislative framework that would allow unfettered operation for all market players by eliminating sanitation companies’ monopoly on waste, thereby keeping waste collection and recycling companies in the economic circuit and preserving jobs.

To sum it up: returning Law no. 101/2006 to the Senate for review

We decided to create a banknote representing the value of the recycling industry in Romania that, had the amendments to Law no. 101/2006 been promulgated, would have been pocketed by only one party – the sanitation companies.

A proScreenshot 2015-09-05 22.58.14test meeting was organized for a professional group (recycling companies’ employees) directly affected by the amendments to Law no. 101/2006 passed by the Chamber of Deputies. 150 representatives of the Green Institute, waste collection companies, licensed waste collectors and private recycling firms took to the streets to protest against the promulgation of the sanitation law and its effects on the waste collection and recycling industry in Romania. The event took place outside the Palace of the Parliament, on 20 February 2014.

Screenshot 2015-09-05 22.58.50Only 11 days after the protest, the President of Romania refused to promulgate the law and asked the Senate to review it. The president explained that the text of the new law takes the award of public contracts outside of the scope of public procurement law, which is likely to give rise to abuse.

The right to public protests and rallies is stated in the Constitution of Romania, but it was for the first time when a sanitation law was returned to the Senate for review following a street protest organized by an ecology and environmental protection association. A difficult to understand and seemingly hopeless initiative was quickly embraced both by the press and by decision makers.