The Polish Waste Database (Baza Danych Odpadowych, BDO) is aimed at combatting illegal and unregulated landfill sites. Many companies that conduct production or distribution activities are obliged to keep waste records in the BDO. Who should register in the BD system and how should you keep waste records? See below for guidance.
Keeping waste records – what does the law say?
Where should you look for information on the BD? The principal source of knowledge on the obligation of companies to keep waste records is the Waste Act of 14 December 2012. You may also find relevant hints concerning the BDO on websites:
- mos.gov.pl (this platform is used to generate electronic documents, applications, waste records and an entry in the BDO) or
Pursuant to regulations, an entrepreneur should apply for an entry in the waste records before commencing their business activity. If company owners fail to keep an inventory as obliged, they may face unwelcome consequences including: high financial and administrative penalties (up to PLN 1 million!) or imprisonment.
What are waste records and where are they used?
As the Waste Act states, waste records (BDO) are a database devoted to products and packaging and on waste management. There are 2 types of records:
- simplified (this only applies to companies that generate little waste or use municipal sewage sludge for agricultural production purposes) and
- full (this applies to the other companies: they have an obligation to generate both record cards and cards of waste delivery to external entities).
A waste inventory should be kept by all entrepreneurs mentioned in Articles 50 and 51 of the Act. The list includes both companies that launch new products as well as other companies operating in different industries such as: agricultural, food, clothing or automotive industries, retailers, importers etc.
How do you obtain an entry in the BDO register and how do you log in to the system?
To obtain an entry with the marshal of the voivodeship, the entrepreneur first needs to obtain relevant waste collection, generation or processing permits (concessions). Once the documentation is complete, the company may register itself with the BDO. (Note that from 2021 on it is no longer possible to submit paper applications to the BDO).
How do you set up an account on BDO.mos.gov.pl? There is a button: przejdź do systemu (go to the system) in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Click the button and choose one of the two available options, i.e., log in with your trusted profile or log in directly to the BDO. See tab: Instrukcje (Instructions) for technical support such as:
- a step-by-step guide on accessing the different services and functions,
- where to look for waste delivery cards or
- how to generate reports, etc.
Once you log in to the system, you may edit and save documents concerning waste details, origin, quantities and collection points.
BDO records: how should you keep them?
Waste management reporting requires patience, thoroughness and accuracy. Every entity obliged to keep a BDO inventory should thus fill in record cards on a regular basis. How should you keep an inventory and what should you remember? For instructions on how to operate the BDO user panel, see the system website. If you have further questions, you may contact a BDO consultant by phone or e-mail or watch video tutorials that are prepared, e.g., by Agricultural Advisory Centres (Polish: Ośrodek Doradztwa Rolnego) and other agencies.
What should entrepreneurs that keep the BDO inventory know?
- Free-of-charge training (webinars) is provided periodically by the Institute of Environmental Protection (Polish: Instytut Ochrony Środowiska) for people who want to learn more about the operation of the BDO system.
- Entities that have the BDO obligation shall submit annual or municipal reports (the frequency and type of reports depending on the type of activities).