'Garbage wars' erupt in the Baltics

  • 2008-04-23
  • By Yury Sogis
VILNIUS - A Lithuanian civic group has launched a major trash removal program in an attempt to outdo a similar initiative which was recently launched in Estonia.
The Estonian civic group "Teeme Ara 2008" (Let's do it) will launch its anti-garbage campaign on May 3. Tiina Urm, a member of the organizing committee, said 21,975 volunteers are ready to participate in the action. The organizers plan to bring this number to 40,000 by the starting date.
The Estonian event hopes to collect more than 200,000 bagfuls of garbage and transport them to 270 temporary garbage stations all over the country. Hundreds of garbage trucks will take the bags from these locations to their final destination.

A team of Lithuanian activists has heard about the ambitious project and decided to launch their own, even larger, garbage pick up day. The Lithuanian group hopes to collect three times more garbage 's as much as 30,000 tons 's than their Estonian "competitors."
This will mean a massive staffing problem. Lithuania will have to track down as many as 120,000 volunteers to achieve their lofty goal.
The Estonians aren't afraid of a little competition.

"We welcome the Lithuanians," said Rainer Nolvak, one of the leaders of the cleaning drive. "But they're going to have to demonstrate amazing organizational abilities to catch up with us."
"Let's do it" has set up an extensive logistics system to give the volunteers specific instructions on where to go and what to do. The team has set up a Web site with a digital map to help Estonians visualize the project.
The overall goal of the two garbage drives is to help shift the population's mindset to a more eco-friendly way of thinking. Both sides hope that the eventual winner of the "garbage war" will be the Baltic environment.