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Recycling in Latvia

April 7, 2010
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People living in Riga are less active in recycling than those living in other cities in Latvia, says research done by the Latvian Green Point.

Right now there are only 4 places in Riga where you can find containers for recycled waste. But is it enough for a city of more than 700, 000 people?

“It definitely is not enough, because the small amount of containers and recycling areas is why people in Riga hesitate to recycle”, says Jana Duhovska, the marketing and communication manager of the Latvian Green Point.
Recently recycling area was opened on 27, Ganību dam. Right now this is the only place in Riga where you can dispose of all your waste – paper, plastic, glass, electronics, batteries and toxic waste . It is open every day from 9 in the morning to 7 in the evening.

Even more and more recycling areas are created and organizations like The Latvian Green Point and Eko Rīga are organising events to popularize the idea of recycling.

“Last year we organized a campaign, encouraging people to take their trash to a recycling area and getting some money for that,” said Duhovska, hoping that campaigns like this could encourage more and more people to start recycling.
Latvia is still new at the recycling business in comparison with other European countries. For example, in Denmark plastic bottle disposers are in every supermarket and recyclers get back approximately half of the amount of money paid for the bottle. As Duhovska said, “Right now, offering a reward is seen as the best solution in making recycling a healthy habit.”

On average, one Latvian produces more than 370 kg of waste every year.1 In the recycling process more than 30 percent of the waste can be reused. So recycling can significantly diminish the amount of waste piling up in the dumpsters and can give the used stuff a second life.

Latvian Green Point is hoping that the situation will change when the fees for household waste increase and it will be financially attractive to recycle.

“The people who recycle now are enthusiasts and devotees, but the future looks promising,” said Duhovska.
When talking to people in Riga about their recycling habits, most of them admitted that they recycle rarely because of the lack of special containers.

“There is only one, non-recycling container next to my house. I don’t have a car so it is really inconvenient to carry my trash bags to the other side of Riga,” said Marija, a student who lives in the very centre of Riga.
But most of the respondents said they would definitely recycle if they had containers near by. But it turned out that almost none of the people I talked with were separating the trash at home. “What for? I still dump all the trash bags in one container – sorting doesn’t make any sense”, said Arnis, a respondent who lives near the centre of Riga.
Recycling is the basic thing you can do to help the environment. Do you have any suggestions how to encourage people to start recycling?

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2013 08:37

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your next write ups thank you once again.

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