Rīga trash to be split four ways under new council plan

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Procurement for waste management in Riga will be launched in two weeks, and seven-year contracts will be signed with the winning bidders, Riga Mayor Olegs Burovs (Honor to Serve Riga party) told reporters after a meeting with representatives from the Competition Council and the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry on October 7.

From now on, Riga will be divided into four roughly similar areas that could each be served by a different waste management company. One company will have the opportunity to serve up to three of these areas, therefore the Riga City Council will sign two to four waste management contracts.

Vjaceslavs Stepanenko (Honor to Serve Riga), head of the Riga City Council's Housing and Environment Committee, stressed that no decision had yet been taken on the twenty-year waste management agreement with the joint-stock company Tiriga. He said it was important to see what the consequences would be if the agreement was terminated today or if it the agreement were to remain in effect until the Competition Council took its final decision.

The Competition Council has not yet considered the merits of the case, so it is unclear whether or not there was a violation, explained Stepanenko. Even if the council ascertains a violation, there will still be an opportunity to challenge the decision in court.

"As a result, we currently have no reason to terminate the agreement on the part of the municipality," he said.

As previously reported, Riga City Council and waste company Getlini EKO landfill entered into a EUR 686.3 million public-private partnership on management of household waste in Riga with CREB Riga, a company set up by two environmental service providers - Clean R and Eco Baltia Vide.

At the beginning of June, Getlini EKO and CREB Riga established joint venture Rigas Vides Pakalpojumi, later renamed Tiriga, which from September 15 was to provide household waste management services in Riga for the next twenty years.

On September 9, the Competition Council banned Tiriga from signing agreements with the residents of Riga.

On September 19, Saeima approved a Cabinet decision to declare a state of emergency in Riga in the area of waste collection and management.

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