Ventspils launches pilot project for bio-waste sorting

Until August 28 , Ventspils residents can apply for a trial and learn to sort biological waste. Such an invitation has been issued by the local government company Ventspils Labiekārtošanas kombināts, which plans to involve house owners, companies, and residents of multi-apartment houses in the pilot, Latvian Radio reported on August 24.

The first of those who have already registered include catering establishments for whom the issue of biological waste is particularly relevant.

It is an ordinary morning, but there is a lot of activity in the Ventspils sorting area, and every now and then a car or people with bicycles come. Laima Grīnerte, an employee of the sorting area, says that “255 people were visiting the area during the day, 50 in the morning, and there was a boom in the evening so that you couldn't get in”.

“They are bringing the [mown] grass, leaves, weeds. So far, the biological waste isn't sorted at home, but we'll be sorting it in time. Apples are here too, everything stinks,” says Grīnerte.

Latvian Radio also addressed a Ventspils resident who has come to the sorting area, and he says, “I bring apples, there's so much I don't know where to put so much in the compost, some remain, the rest is here. I brought over 100 liters.”

Another gentleman said that with his wife, they are sorting garbage but it is unclear how to sort biological waste: “If I have to take each bottle of kefir here, I don't know. I sorted through glass, cardboard, and old clothes. How about the biologics – I don't know, I'll probably throw it in municipal waste, there's two of us, we can't fill [the garbage can] up every month.”

By the end of the year, amendments to the binding rules in Ventspils state will have to be approved, which will also to a large extent determine the procedures for the sorting and collection of biological waste, and will also determine the frequency of the collection of waste.

The trial is needed to understand how it can work and what can be improved, explains Inese Mičule, deputy manager of the Ventspils labiekārtošanas kombināts Ltd.

"Our campaign is called Sort Bio-Logically. We are preparing for the mandatory sorting of biological waste next year. Let us start with a trial, let us teach ourselves, see how to do it and whether the people will be satisfied. Although we only announced the trial on Monday, interest has already grown," said Mičule.

The Windmill tavern of Paskiekste has applied for the trial. Chef Elvis Rībens says biowaste is a topical issue, so he also decided to get involved in the trial.

Although, for example, carrots can be dried and used, biological waste will be there, especially breakfast food, for example, in hotels, which is a problem everywhere in the world.

“A lot of garbage from packages, cardboard, also food leftovers. We're sorting to the maximum, [..] we give some food leftovers to rabbits, bread to horses,” Rībens said.  Although there are different options for maximizing the use of food, it is not entirely possible to avoid the production of biological waste.

“One small business, a pub can, for example, peel carrots, recycle, dry and whatever else, but hotels toss large quantities of food away,” he added.

Existing plants will be adapted to the landfill site and there will be an additional line

Deputy Head of Ventspils labiekārtošanas kombināts Ltd Sandra Ozoliņa said that existing plants will be adapted at the landfill site and there will be an additional line to improve the acceptance of biological waste.

Unlike “green” waste managed by labeled green bags, brown-colored containers will be installed for food and kitchen waste management.

The application for the trial in Ventspils will continue until August 28.

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