Management of biodegradable waste in Latvia is inefficient - State Audit Office

  • 2022-06-09
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The system of managing biodegradable waste in Latvia is inefficient and economically ungrounded, the State Audit Office has concluded.

The auditors said that the current system does not meet the actual situation in respect of the number of population and population density. Introduction of the system has been delayed, it is chaotic and has not coordinated management and cooperation among stakeholders.

The auditors said that if the system is introduced just formally, residents will not be motivated to sort biodegradable waste at the amount planned for the infrastructure capacity. Also, residents will overpay for management of biodegradable waste and sanctions are possible if Latvia does not reach the EU environment goals.

"If the current approach is not 'restarted', the whole system will be expensive and unfriendly to residents, leaving a negative impact on the government budget and may cause potential EU sanctions," the auditors said.

The State Audit Office said that from 2010 until 2018, the overall volume of waste in the EU has increased by 5 percent or 114 million tons. According to the EU directives, by 2035, the amount household waste deposited in landfills should be reduced by 10 percent. Biodegradable waste accounts for half of overall household waste. In order to meet the goal, biodegradable waste sorting and management system should be introduced.

In Latvia this system is developing very slowly and the necessary infrastructure will be completed by the end of 2023. The audit has discovered significant risks signaling that Latvia will not manage to develop an efficient system for management of biodegradable waste within the set deadlines, which might bring along EU sanctions.

As a result, Latvia is developing a system where management of biodegradable system is very expensive, but in reality, there is no sufficient amount of sorted biodegradable waste collected and there is no plan how to further use the material obtained after processing biodegradable waste - compost.