In the longer term, Riga also plans to follow the example of many other nature parks and ask visitors not to leave garbage in the park at all but to take it all home.
The amount of waste in Riga's parks has increased, partly as a result of the loosening of Covid-19 pandemic rules, because for the last two years, public events and catering establishments worked to a limited extent or not at all, but have now returned. A representative of "Rīgas meži" (Riga forests) company Ieva Bērziņa told LTV there are also other reasons for the increase in waste.
"At the moment, we have gathered information about the first half of the year. Our numbers and facts are that this year there is twice as much waste in gardens, parks and forests. But it should be taken into account that we have a 30% increase in the territory in gardens and parks. In Rīga, we are managing more territory ."
Almost 800 hectares of gardens and parks are managed by "Riga forests". Half of them are accounted for by the extensive and green Mežaparks district.
It is not only the amount of waste that has grown, but also the cost of its removal. Management prices in "Riga forests" management parks, gardens and forests are not comparable with last year.
"The downside, of course, is that the waste removal fee is almost twice as much. So we have already spent €80,000 to remove all the waste we have in our forests, parks and gardens. It's actually the same amount as last year during the whole year," said Bērziņa.
In the near future, the company plans to significantly shake up its management in Riga's parks so that larger quantities of trash can be taken out less often.
"Currently, there is a transition period when we are moving from the old waste bins to the new ones. Perhaps, as early as August, new bins with a flattening capability will appear in Riga's gardens and parks, so more waste can be put in them and, therefore, waste will be removed less often."
However, in the long term, the solution is seen as fewer trash cans, not more.
"There are countries in Europe that greatly reduce the number of bins. Why is that? Because bins attract waste. And our long-term philosophy is to implement the principle in forests, gardens and parks - what you bring in, you also take away," said Bērziņa.