Tallinn proposes new waste management plan

According to the new waste management plan, Tallinn will expand separate collection of biowaste and textile waste, and turn waste collection stations into circular economy centres.

The waste management plan, approved by the City Government on Wednesday, is intended to plan the city's waste management programmes and policies up to 2026.

"The waste management plan gives us specific guidelines on how to move towards a circular economy. The biggest challenge of this plan is to stop the growth of unsorted municipal waste, but we also need to collect a greater volume of this municipal waste separately and recycle as much of it as possible," said Tallinn Deputy Mayor Joosep Vimm. "The waste management plan includes a ban on the use of single-use dishes at public events."

The main change envisioned in the waste management plan is to make separate collection of biowaste compulsory on all properties. Currently, there is no obligation to have a bio-waste container in residential buildings with fewer than 10 apartments, in establishments or businesses where less than 20 kilograms of biowaste is generated per week, or where the property is used as a catering establishment, including restaurants and similar food service establishments with fewer than 25 seats, or as a kindergarten, school or hospital that serves less than 112 people.

Under the proposed new regulation, private houses and two-apartment dwellings will retain the option to compost biowaste properly on site, but all others will have to start collecting biowaste separately in a container and handing it over to a waste operator.

Tallinn waste collection stations already organise the separate collection of textile waste, but in the period 2022-2026, it is necessary to improve the efficiency of separate collection and recycling of textile waste. In promoting the re-use of clothing and textiles in Tallinn, it is planned to continue the well-established cooperation with reuse organisations and to look for ways to expand the system. Reuse organisations should be involved in the establishment and operation of the city's recycling centres and in related development projects and initiatives.

The plan foresees the transformation of waste stations into circular economy centres, where, in addition to waste transfer facilities, additional functions to promote the circular economy will be created, such as reuse rooms, repair and sewing workshops. Reuse facilities will enable people to give their unwanted but decent household items a new life. Repair and refurbishment workshops provide the facilities and tools needed to restore used goods.

The plan is to raise awareness on all waste-related matters in the city, so that people understand the importance of separating their waste at source to maximise recycling and reduce the use of natural resources.

The waste management plan must be approved by Tallinn City Council. The draft Tallinn Waste Management Plan 2022-2026 is available on the city's website at https://www.tallinn.ee/est/keskkond/Tallinna-jaatmekava.