First underground waste containers installed near capital’s apartment blocks

12 May 2023

On 10 May, the courtyard of 24 Melnsila Street in a residential area in Riga, was equipped with the first underground garbage bins near apartment buildings in the capital. The bins were installed free of charge by the waste management company CleanR, informs its Chairman of the Management Board Valerijs Stankevičs.

 

Very soon such underground garbage bins will also be installed in the nearby 16 Kristapa Street, and 11 more locations, where agreements on container installations have already been signed, and the installation process will begin shortly. The capital’s residents are becoming more familiar with modern and more aesthetically appealing waste management infrastructure, which facilitates gradual removal of the traditional aboveground dumpsters.

 

The event was visited by the CleanR management, as well as Mārtiņš Staķis, Mayor of Riga, Mairita Lūse, Deputy Head of Home and Environment Committee, and Bernhards Maļinovskis, Member of the Board at SIA Rīgas namu pārvaldnieks.

 

The guests were shown how the underground garbage bins differ from the traditional aboveground ones, how much waste they can hold, and how they are emptied. Also, the visitors could refresh their knowledge about waste sorting by participating in an organized workshop.

 

“We must reduce landfilled waste at least five times in about 12 years. This may only be achieved by reducing the amount of waste generated, as well as by waste sorting and recycling. Riga is setting an example by increasingly facilitating separate waste collection.  Separate collection of glass, paper, plastic, and metal is already mandatory, and currently we are in the process of implementing mandatory sorting of biowaste. To enforce these new requirements, we also need appropriate waste collection infrastructure, where dumpsters do not occupy the whole of the courtyard’s green space. Their function is to make waste sorting easy and user-friendly,” tells Valerijs Stankevičs.

 

In 2022, Getliņi Eko, Latvia’s largest municipal solid waste landfill, noted that over the last five years, the amount of unsorted waste received has been gradually decreasing.  The trend is positive, yet slow. The proportion of separately collected waste has also increased in Riga. In 2022, separately collected waste accounted for 29.2%, which is an increase of 5.62 percentage points compared to 2021 and of 9.3 percentage points compared to 2020. The amount of separately collected light packaging and glass waste has seen most rapid growth.

 

“The Riga municipality is making a significant effort to introduce a modern waste management system in the capital, motivating the city’s residents, businesses, and institutions to sort waste. At the same time, we are truly pleased to see that our private partners are modernizing the waste management infrastructure.  Underground waste containers are especially suitable for large residential areas generating a lot of waste, therefore I call on all housing societies to improve their courtyard infrastructure, also by using the available co-financing from the Riga municipality” urges mayor Mārtiņš Staķis.

 

The mayor reminded that more on the municipal co-financing aimed at improving areas around block of flats may be found at https://atjauno.riga.lv/dzivojamas-majas/.

 

Mairita Lūse emphasized that Riga has taken serious steps in streamlining the city’s waste management system, making packaging and glass waste containers mandatory, devising a single waste sorting guide, and providing a number of educational activities.

 

“That also is reflected in the waste management statistics—waste sorting in 2022 has allowed the city’s residents to save 14 million euros. Soon, the city has also planned to introduce mandatory   biowaste containers, as well as place more focus on the most important goal of waste management—to reduce the amount of waste generated, for example, by getting rid of disposable glasses at the city-organized public events, and promoting the use of reusable tableware,” tells Mairita Lūse.

 

At the courtyard of 26 Melnsila Street, six underground garbage bins with the capacity of two to five cubic meters have been installed, replacing the traditional garbage bins. The new containers take up less space, are more aesthetic, as well as are weather, rodent, and bird proof.

 

“I am truly pleased that the properties managed by SIA Rīgas namu pārvaldnieks are the first to be equipped with modern underground waste collection solutions. We are not only witnessing how the buildings change but also the area around them. We are happy to see that the underground waste management solutions widely used elsewhere have finally found their way to the Riga’s residential neighborhoods,” stresses Bernhards Maļinovskis.

 

Maļinovskis adds that this is the first residential quarter is Riga which has been equipped with modern underground garbage bins, moving the visually unappealing side of municipal waste collection underground.

 

“This is an effective way to solve one of the most urgent courtyard problems, that is, lack of space for infrastructure. The new containers occupy a lot less space, freeing it up for car parks, bicycle stands, benches, green spaces, and children’s playgrounds.  What’s more, a proper waste management infrastructure provides a chance to make savings for every household,” says Maļinovskis.

 

The total projects costs amount to about 20 thousand euros, yet each site must be approached and designed individually. In Avotu Street, we will see two underground garbage bins—one for municipal waste and one for dry packaging,” adds the CleanR spokesperson.

 

As part of a special campaign, CleanR has committed to equip 100 sites in Riga free of charge with underground waste containers by the end of this year and is still calling on property managers to    apply. We are in talks and partnerships with over 65 partners, and CleanR is set to install underground garbage bins in 35 locations free of charge.

 

The CleanR Member of the Board emphasized that infrastructural improvements are part of the overall environmental improvements. The next step—to use the new solutions and create new habits—is in the hands of the residents. We may have neat and tidy surroundings only by everyone working together.

 

About CleanR

SIA CleanR is the leading municipal waste management company in Latvia with over 75 years of experience, wide and innovative range of services, serving close to half a million end-customers all over Latvia. CleanR is a Platinum category company of the Sustainability Index, confirming that its risk and management processes are run according to best practice. Also, it has acquired a status of a family-friendly company for its care over its employees’ well-being. SIA CleanR is a subsidiary company of AS CleanR Grupa, the leading environmental services concern in Latvia, providing over 40 different services in areas of municipal and industrial waste management, material recovery and recycling, as well as cleaning and urban environment maintenance, and property management.

 

 

For further media-related information, contact:

Zane Auziņa

Head of Public Relations at CleanR Grupa

Email: [email protected]

Mobile: +371 26119423