Tallinn promotes separate collection of bio-waste
From 1 June, all properties, irrespective of their purpose or the number of apartments, will have to start collecting their bio-waste separately. From tomorrow, 15 March, in addition to single-family houses, semi-detached houses, terraced houses and houses with up to two apartments and houses with 3 to 9 apartments can also apply for free bio-waste collection containers.Until now, properties with ten or more apartments were obliged to collect bio-waste in a container, but from 1 June 2023, all properties will have to collect bio-waste in a container and hand it over to their waste collector.
According to Deputy Mayor Joosep Vimm, by collecting bio-waste separately, we will reduce the generation of mixed municipal waste and increase waste recycling. "Separate collection of bio-waste is a resource for both the city's residents and the city that can be used to make compost. In addition, it can be used to produce biogas, which will also take us a step further in environmental protection. Separate collection of waste also provides an opportunity for financial savings for city residents," added Vimm.
On a property where kitchen and catering waste is collected separately in a container or composted at source, the mixed municipal waste container may be emptied once every eight weeks. On a property where kitchen and catering waste is collected separately in a container or composted on site and packaging waste is also collected separately, the mixed municipal waste container may be emptied once every 12 weeks. As separate collection of packaging waste and paper and cardboard is mostly free of charge and the collection of bio-waste is cheaper than the collection of mixed municipal waste, separate collection can save money.
"In order to make it easier to start a separate collection of biowaste with a container, we expanded the number of properties that can apply for a free 80- or 140-liter container from the city," said Vimm.
From tomorrow, 15 March, in addition to single-family houses, semi-detached houses, terraced houses and residents of buildings with up to two apartments, members of the management board of a housing association with 3-9 apartments can also apply for bio-waste containers. It is important to remember that one free container can be applied for per residential address. For example, if one resident of a semi-detached house applies for a free container, the other residents of the same semi-detached house cannot apply for more free containers. We recommend that residents of a semi-detached house use a shared container by concluding a contract for the use of a shared container. For a housing association with 3 to 9 apartments, a container can be applied for by a member of the housing association, who has the rights to represent the housing association in transactions in the commercial register.
It is possible to apply for a free bio-waste container at the Tallinn e-services portal. Within two weeks of receiving the container, it is required to sign an addendum to the contract with the current waste collector and agree on the frequency of emptying the bio-waste container. Residents living in adjacent properties can share the use of the containers by signing a shared container contract. The bio-waste container must be emptied at a frequency that avoids overfilling, the spread of odors and pests and the pollution of the surrounding area, but at least once every two weeks.
By way of exception, residents of detached houses, semi-detached houses, terraced houses registered as detached houses and properties with up to two flats can apply for exemptions from the obligation to have a container if they compost their food waste on site in accordance with the requirements of the rules and obtain the consent of their district government. A proper composter is enclosed on all sides to prevent access by birds and animals and is large enough to collect food waste all year round. In the case of a semi-detached house with a common yard area, a block of terraced houses registered as up to two detached houses, or two adjoining detached houses, the composter may be shared. For this purpose, a contract for the use of a communal composter must be concluded.
Consents for composting can be applied for from 15 March on the website of the register of waste holders. The application must be accompanied by a photo of your compost and the compost must be available for on-site use. The local authority will give its consent within 30 days. Exemptions from organized waste shipments and the use of communal containers can also be requested via the same website.
The Tallinn Waste Management Code is an important implementing act implementing the objectives of the Tallinn Waste Management Plan 2022-2026 adopted in spring 2022.