Latvia launches first integrated waste sorting guide – Nature, ecology


For the convenience of the residents, the municipality of Riga and three waste management companies have jointly developed a single waste sorting guide for the first time in Latvia. It will contribute to the more active participation of the people of Riga in this process and will help reduce the cost of disposal and disposal of inseparable waste.

The guide is available (including download) on the official website of the Municipality of Riga. In addition, it will be distributed to customers in electronic and printed form through the municipal company Rīgas namu pārvaldnieks (RNP). Other building authorities are also invited to participate in the distribution and use of this guide. Answers to frequently asked questions about waste sorting are also available on the Riga City Council website.

Until now, each waste management company operated according to somewhat different principles, so it was not clear to all residents, including what kind of waste can and could not be disposed of in sorting bins. Now, during the joint work, a guide has been created that will allow citizens to simplify and unify the sorting process as much as possible, so that they no longer have to think about what and how to throw in containers in different parts of Riga.

“The sorting of garbage in the capital is becoming the norm. Since the beginning of last year, another 4,000 containers of light packaging have been released in the city. As a result, the number of Riga residents who do not have the opportunity to conveniently sort waste has been significantly reduced – we are receiving fewer and fewer complaints about the lack of containers. Today we have taken another important step towards an accessible and understandable separate waste collection system with obvious advantages. This classification standard is a response to frequent requests from Riga residents to clearly identify what can and cannot be classified in Riga. This allows anyone who wants to talk about separate garbage collection in Riga to speak with one voice and provide accurate information. “House authorities, educators, environmental activists – anyone who wants to talk about rubbish sorting in Riga can use this guide and be sure that this is exactly the information the municipality wants to convey to the residents,” said the Municipal MP. Council of Riga. Mairita Luse, head of the working group for waste sorting and reduction.

Janis Aizbalts, Chairman of the Board of Eco Baltia vide Ltd., notes that while the conditions for waste sorting in different parts of Latvia may differ: thing is to make this process simple. We see that the quality of the screening can be influenced by various external factors. For example, during the pandemic, when the amount of disposable packaging in stores increased significantly, we noticed that the share of non-recyclable waste in selected waste increased from about 15% in 2019 to 25% in 2021. Now this percentage is falling again, proving that people are trying to choose recyclable packaging. But the main thing that people need to understand is that it is necessary to sort the garbage. Then comes the responsibility of the waste management company – to sort the garbage that has already been collected separately from the residents, to send it for recycling and to use what is not yet suitable for recycling in other ways.

“Our monitoring data show that more than 30% of the selected waste ends up in the household waste, because this selected waste is unsuitable for recycling or energy production. I admit that this is the result of conflicting recommendations from waste management companies. Until recently, the recommendations were sometimes very different, and this was confusing for those who want to sort out the rubbish. “It was rather difficult to agree on a common direction in waste sorting across the city, but we did it and we are pleased with the result,” said Jurgis Ugors, director of Lautus Vide PS.

RNP customers will receive information about the new driver in their invoices this month. In addition, posters with infographic triage will be posted on RNP homes in May. The Administration of the Municipal Hall emphasizes that the new guidelines will simplify and improve the sorting process in all waste service areas in Riga.

In 2021, compared to 2020, the number of packaging bins placed in Riga increased by 2400, for glass bins – by 1200 and for biodegradable waste – by 1500. In 2020, 20% of waste was collected separately, in 2021 – already 24%.

In the first months of this year, the number of light packaging containers in the capital increased by 1927, for glass – in 1704, for biodegradable waste – by 58. In total, there are 15,480 light packaging containers in Riga, 6,471 glass containers bins and bins 1883 for biodegradable waste.

By sorting light packages and glass containers, the people of Riga saved a total of 9.5 million euros in 2021, which is the money they would pay if the selected waste was disposed of and disposed of as ordinary household waste. Compared to the previous year, an additional 1.5 million euros were saved.

The municipality of Riga reminds that the installation of packaging containers and glass containers and the removal of this waste separately is free, as opposed to the removal of a household waste container, for which residents have to pay. Any large bin that is properly sorted this year and removed as a bin can reduce a home’s waste management costs by up to 35%.

Martins Willemsons

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