Rīga gradually takes down 'tire mountain' on Starta Street

Six years after the public drew officials' attention to the huge mound of old car tires in Rīga, Starta Street, it is finally planned to be removed, Latvian Radio reported April 26.

At the beginning of next month, it is promised to export the last of the thousands of tons of old tires.The tires are removed by the waste management company AJ Power Recycling. It is promised that sporting areas and road coverings will be formed from the tire rubber.

Selīna Vancāne, Chair of the Environment Committee of the Riga City Council, said there are no more tire problems that big in the capital. Meanwhile, Atis Treijs, director of the State Environmental Service's Department of Waste Circulation, said that as a result of tight control, old tire stocks have fallen from 10 thousand tons six years ago to five thousand tons now. This means around half a million tires are known to the environmental authorities as not properly managed.

There might be even fewer old tires stashed away in garages and backyards if producer responsibility systems in Latvia worked in practice; namely, the State obliges the manufacturer and the trader to assume the responsibility that the tire sold will be properly disposed of at the end of life. Customers pay for it in part when equipping their cars.

Some time ago, there was an idea of introducing a "deposit system" in the tire business, when the buyer is paying the full price for the recycling of the tires at the outset, but no further consideration has been given to this idea.

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