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More waste is sorted and recycled in Lithuania

2015-01-22

Every year, more municipal waste is recycled or used to generate energy in Lithuania. The amount of municipal waste produced per year is around 130,000 t. For example, in 2010, only 12.8% of such waste was recycled or used to generate energy, whereas, in 2013, the quantity of waste recycled or used for generating energy exceeded that of 2010 almost by three times (around 35%). Therefore, the expectations are that, according to Dalius Krinickas, Director of the Waste Department at the Ministry of Environment, the goal provided for in the National Waste Management Plan for 2014–2020 to recycle or otherwise use at least 45% of municipal waste by 2016 will be achieved.

The experience shows that if the residents are provided with a sufficient supply of containers for collecting secondary raw materials and packaging waste, more waste is sorted out and less waste goes to dumping grounds. The Ministry of Environment allocates substantial amounts under the Product or Packaging Waste Management Programme for the purchase of such containers and distributes them to municipalities. During the 2006–2011 period, 19.7 thousand of the so-called “bells” – containers for collecting secondary raw materials – were acquired and distributed. More than LTL 20 million was allocated for this purpose. In 2011, the Ministry allocated around one million litas for the equipment of such container sites (388).

The infrastructure for collecting secondary raw materials and packaging waste is developed not only in the districts of multi-apartment buildings but also in the blocks of residential dwellings. In 2011–2014, the Ministry purchased over 262,000 containers for more than LTL 21 million for these blocks.

According to Dalius Krinickas, the infrastructure necessary for secondary raw materials and packaging waste is only half the job. A lot depends on the public approach to waste sorting and ecological consciousness of our society. Therefore, every effort is made to raise wide-scale public awareness about the importance of waste sorting and recycling on environmental health and the fact that sorting does not increase the price for waste management services but it can only reduce it.

Public Information Division
22 January 2015

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas