Harutyun Alpetyan

AUA Acopian Center Presents Waste Policy Armenia Program at Circular Economy Conference

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YEREVAN, Armenia — On January 26,  American University of Armenia (AUA) Acopian Center for the Environment Lecturer and waste management expert Harutyun Alpetyan presented the Center’s Sweden-funded Waste Policy Armenia Program during the “The Potential of the Development of Circular Economy in Local Communities of Armenia” conference. The conference was organized by the European Union (EU)-funded “Alliance for Better City Governance” project and aimed to foster discussions around the development of the circular economy in Armenia. 

The event, held in Yerevan, brought together representatives from the Republic of Armenia (RA) ministries, the EU delegation, local governments, and civil society organizations. Some of the key discussions focused on addressing the current challenges in promoting a circular economy in Armenia, as well as exploring potential strategies for developing circular economy practices within local communities across the country.

During the conference, Alpetyan specifically highlighted the Program’s focus on supporting the RA Ministry of Environment in developing and adopting an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system in the country. EPR is a policy tool that makes producers or importers responsible for the waste generated from the consumption of their products. As per the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), Armenia is obligated to adopt the EPR system by the end of 2024. 

“Implementation of the EPR system is imperative for effectively addressing waste management issues in the country. Its effective implementation will greatly contribute to the development of the circular economy in Armenia,” Additionally, Alpetyan underscored the pivotal role of education in the field of waste management: “Education about waste management needs to take place from kindergarten to university studies. AUA is offering an academic course on waste management in the circular economy and just recently launched a new bachelor’s degree in environmental and sustainability sciences, which includes a strong focus on material flows and circular economy, key aspects of rethinking waste management in the 21st century.”

Waste Policy Armenia is a four-year program implemented by the AUA Acopian Center and funded by Sweden that aims to achieve three main objectives: support the RA Ministry of Environment in developing and adopting an EPR system based on EU best practices; support the RA Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure in the development of a national model for source separation of solid waste and introduce it as a system in the town of Sevan and other target municipalities; and build sector capacity for scaling up the results achieved by the program. 

The AUA Acopian Center for the Environment, a research center of the American University of Armenia (AUA), promotes the protection and restoration of the natural environment through research, education, and community outreach. The AUA Acopian Center’s focus areas include sustainable natural resource management, biodiversity protection and conservation, greening the built environment, sustainable energy, as well as information technology and the environment. Visit