Separate collection of biodegradable waste will have to be ensured by 2023 – Ecology – Planet

This is provided for in the amendments to the “Regulations on Separate Collection, Preparation for Re-use, Recycling and Material Recovery” prepared by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (MEPRD) adopted by the government today.

According to the MEPRD, until now, the requirement that mandatory separate collection of biodegradable waste should start from 1 January 2021 was in force.

As a result, municipalities, waste managers and landfills will be better able to prepare for the separate collection of biodegradable waste, including by setting up appropriate infrastructure for waste collection, recovery or recycling. The new deadline corresponds to the deadline set in the European Commission directive to establish such a system by the end of 2023.

According to the Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development Juris Pūce, it is important to start mandatory separate collection of biologically indicated waste at the same time as the possibility of efficient recycling, but currently there is a lack of appropriate management solutions and recycling facilities in Latvia. Therefore, at the suggestion of the MEPRD, additional support will be provided to landfills for the construction of biodegradable waste recycling facilities, ensuring the availability of European Union funding in the amount of more than 14 million euros.

This will allow the separate collection of biodegradable waste to start throughout the territory of Latvia by 2023, thus significantly reducing the amount of waste to be disposed of, increasing resource efficiency, creating a positive impact on the environment, as well as creating new jobs in the sector.

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A survey of local governments conducted by the MEPRD in the first half of 2020 on the current situation and planned measures related to the establishment of a separate collection system for biodegradable waste reveals that only slightly more than half of Latvian municipalities would already be able to ensure separate collection of this waste. Landfills do not have adequate facilities to provide the necessary biodegradable waste processing capacity, while funding for infrastructure development is insufficient.

In May of this year, the Cabinet of Ministers supported investments of the European Union funds for the development of biodegradable waste recycling as one of the measures of the economic recovery plan. These investments will allow the establishment of bio-waste recycling plants in the regions, thus ensuring the recycling and separate collection of this waste within the deadlines set by the directive, the MEPRD points out.

This will allow to improve the waste management system in Latvia and will ensure a significant reduction of landfill waste through recycling, thus having a positive impact on the Latvian economy – the total landfill waste will be reduced, waste reuse volumes will be increased, as well as landfill use time will be increased.

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