RIGA - Riga City Council today approved new regulations on waste management in the city.
All Riga City Council coalition members, as well as nonpartisan councilmen and the For Riga! members voted for the new rules.
According to the regulations, Riga will be divided into four roughly similar areas that could each be served by a different waste management company. One company will have the opportunity to serve up to three of these areas, therefore the Riga City Council will sign two to four waste management contracts for a period of up to ten years.
Evija Pinke, head of the Riga City Council's Housing and Environment Department, was grilled for about two hours during the Riga City Council's meeting today.
Pinke explained that the current regulations were obsolete and not in line with the current situation in Riga's waste management sector, nor with the Cabinet of Ministers regulations. She said that the main difference in the new regulations was that residents could themselves decide the minimum frequency of waste removal.
The objective of the regulations is to ensure organization of waste management and define waste management procedures in order to protect the environment and improve waste management procedures, including separate collection and sorting of waste, with the aim of reducing the amount of waste buried at landfills and foster waste recovery and recycling.
As reported, Riga City Council and Getlini EKO landfill entered into a EUR 686.3 million public-private partnership on management of household waste in Riga with CREB Riga, a company set up by two environmental service providers - Clean R and Eco Baltia Vide.
At the beginning of June, Getlini EKO and CREB Riga established joint venture Rigas Vides Pakalpojumi, later renamed Tiriga, which from September 15 was to provide household waste management services in Riga for the next twenty years.
On September 9, the Competition Council banned Tiriga from signing agreements with the residents of Riga and initiated infringement proceedings against the Riga City Council and Getlini EKO, suspected of possibly violating the prohibition of abuse of dominant position.