Obligation to separate bio-waste problematic in cities

Trashcans. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Everyone will have to store bio-waste separately by the end of this year based on a Europe-wide agreement to stop bio-waste ending up in mixed household waste. Data from the Ministry of the Environment suggests just 25 percent of bio-waste is stored separately in Estonia.

The requirement already in place for larger apartment buildings to store bio-waste, such as old flowers, potato peels or fish guts, in separate containers will apply to everyone starting from the end of this year at the latest, and this includes sparsely populated areas. In Tallinn, the new system will enter into force already in June.

People will have to decide whether to order a bio-waste container and collection or compost biological waste in a special bin, which needs to correspond to local waste collection rules and be registered with the city or municipality government.

People can either buy or build their own compost bins. In most places, compost bins that also take food leftovers need to have a lid to keep animals out. But concrete rules for composting will be laid down by every local government. For example, Saku Municipality in Harju County allows kitchen waste to be composted in an open stack.

However, all cities and rural municipalities will be obligated to keep tabs on residents' composting one way or another.

Because requirements may differ from one area to the next, people are urged to contact their local government for the details.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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