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Environment Ministry refuses to approve new waste management regulations in Riga

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waste, tender, Riga City Council, Environment MinistryLatvia’s Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry has decided not to approve Riga City Council’s binding rules on waste management in the capital city. This prevents the city council from also organizing a new procurement for services, as confirmed by Riga City Council Housing and Environment Department’s Office for Environment head Evija Piņķe.

She says the period until 11 December, when the government’s declared state of emergency is set to end, is too short. This is why Riga City Council will likely have to turn to the Cabinet of Ministers to request extension for the state of emergency.

According to Piņķe, Riga City Council will have to commence a negotiations procedure in which existing waste management companies in Riga will be invited to participate.

At the same time, she explains that whether or not residents will have to sign new contracts for waste management services anew will depend on the government’s decision.

«If the state of emergency is extended, we would be able to continue working with previous contracts and under current conditions. If it is not extended and we are forced to look for new waste managers, this means contracts with the municipality will have to change. This means residents will also have to resign contracts, but we cannot say how this might go,» she says.

As reported, it was planned to announce a new procurement for waste management services in Riga for a term of seven years. It is planned to divide Riga into four waste management sectors in which one waste management company will be able to compete for servicing no more than four areas.

At the same time, having evaluated Riga City Council’s developed waste management service procurement requirements, Competition Council voiced 15 objections.

Municipality’s representatives had previously said that after 11 December, when the government’s declared state of emergency is set to end, they plan to continue cooperating with existing waste management operators until a new procurement has concluded.

Read also: Competition Council: Riga City Council takes no responsibility for its own mess

It is also reported that on 30 October Riga City Council approved new binding requirements on managing waste management services in the city.

Approval of the new requirements was supported by all coalition deputies, as well as factions Independent Deputies Faction and For Riga.

Requirements provide for new regulations in waste management in the capital city as well as outline multiple technical aspects. For example, it was planned that unsorted waste was to be collected from individual houses at least twice a month. Now this option is permitted to take place at least once a month. If no more than two people are declared in a housing unit and assuming the amount of waste produced per month is 120 l regardless of the type of waste collection method.

At the time, the city council provides an option for residents to reduce waste carrying dynamic for sorted waste.

Rules also provide for prohibition of carrying waste between 23:00 and 05:00 to not disturb residents while they sleep. The Housing and Environment Department plans to create a system under which all real estate users in Riga would be registered, and these people would sign new waste management contracts.


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