Pūce wants to declare a state of emergency in Rīga due to waste crisis

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Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Pūce (For Development) will call on the government to declare state of emergency in the Latvian capital due to the current crisis in the sector of waste collection and management, LETA learned from the ministry.

At the same time, the Rīga City Council until Friday has to hold a negotiations procedure with waste management companies to ensure provision of services after September 15.

The state of emergency is a special regime during which the government may restrict rights and freedoms of the local government and impose additional duties on it, the ministry explained.

"In order to ensure uninterrupted collection of waste, to prevent a chaos and threat to the environment and human health, the Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry will monitor the Rīga City Council's actions, introducing special temporary regulations," the ministry said.

The Rīga City Council until September 15 has to select in a negotiations procedure a company that will ensure waste collection services in the whole territory of Rīga also after the present agreements signed between the residents of Rīga and companies expire and irrespective of the new agreements signed between the residents and the new waste management services provider. Residents should be given a transition period until October 10 to sign agreement with the new service providers.

The ministry also said that the Rīga City Council should provide objective and complete information about waste management in the city's territory to its residents.

The ministry noted that the Rīga City Council still has not submitted the crisis management plan to the ministry even though it has been asked to do it several times. After the Competition Council banned the Tīrīga waste management company from signing agreements with Rīga residents, the ministry finds it necessary to enforce supervision of the local government's activities.

As reported, Rīga Mayor Oļegs Burovs (Honor To Serve Riga) confirmed to LETA that the Competition Council has applied temporary regulations on the Rīga City Council's cooperation with Tīrīga. 

"The Competition Council has ruled that the Rīga City Council immediately, but not later than by September 12 annuls all waste management agreements signed between Tīrīga and Rīga residents. They propose that we should continue cooperation with the current four waste management operators, and theoretically it is a good proposal, but our lawyers say that it is not possible and in contradiction with normative acts," said Burovs.

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