The Estonian Ministry of the Environment reminds people that burning waste in a fire is a harmful for the environment as well as a careless activity – moreover, a large part of the waste can be recycled.
According to the ministry, collecting waste by type is worthwhile as this will save resources and recycle the materials. Old furniture, clothing, shoes, tires, construction waste, paint cans and other useless things must be disposed of properly. Garden waste should be composted and packaging should be recycled. Bonfires are definitely not the place where the debris and rubbish accumulated during spring cleaning should be burned, the ministry added.
Reet Pruul, chief specialist at the ambient air and radiation department of the Ministry of the Environment, said that the burning of old trash in a bonfire in the countryside may result in it being impossible to grow organic food in the area or, in the worst case, someone being hospitalized.
"The accumulation of toxic substances in the body is a long process and health problems may only appear years later. As a rule, people do not even know what caused the disease, especially if they themselves have lived a clean and healthy life as far as they know," Pruul added.
The ministry said that burning things in a bonfire is sometimes also used as a way to reduce expenses. The smallest garbage container is ordered for the household or it is stated that the household is not used at all. The generated waste, which does not fit in the trash or which cannot be put anywhere, is burnt in a fire. This kind of behavior is wrong, the ministry emphasized.
During the current emergency situation, the agency recommends staying at home and, whenever possible, waiting to visit a waste plant or public packaging container until the risk of infection has passed.
Most waste plants have been closed for the duration of the emergency situation and are not accepting waste. In addition, it is recommended to stay at home and not come in contact with other people. However, if there is an urgent need to dispose of waste, people should make sure that the identification at the waste plant is as contactless as possible and keep a distance from others.
If a waste station located on the territory of a local government unit has been closed, the local government must share information about this with people. Residents may want to use their free time to tidy up their household while at home during the emergency situation, and the local government should provide residents with information on whether and when it is possible to use the waste plant.
Editor: Marcus Turovski