How to sort organic waste?

This year in Latvia, the sorting of organic waste has been initiated. This means that residents can request a brown container from their waste management service, intended for the disposal of food products, cooking leftovers, plant, and garden residues.

Sorting organic waste is essential from both economic and environmental protection perspectives. These waste materials play a significant role in the circular economy, as valuable soil fertilizer and renewable energy can be obtained from them.

Organic waste has a lower disposal cost compared to household waste. Managing organic waste is about 40% cheaper than managing household waste. It is important to note that cost savings can be realized by reducing the frequency of household waste disposal and the container volume. Analysis of the waste composition at the “Ķīvītes” landfill indicates that approximately 40% of unsorted household waste consists of food and garden residues. Therefore, the introduction of organic waste sorting into daily life would be significant.

It is recommended to place organic waste in the container using chosen packaging, such as a convenient dish or bag. Bio-waste can also be placed in the container with a compostable bio-bag or a paper bag. It is crucial not to use plastic bags for organic waste, as it can damage the final product (compost) and create unwanted impurities. If organic waste is placed in a plastic bag, the contents should be emptied into the brown container for organic waste, and the plastic bag should be disposed of as household waste. In cases where spoiled food is discarded in packaging, it is advised to remove the product from the packaging and separate the packaging accordingly.

Biodegradable waste – dry food residues without packaging and green waste that can be effectively processed in biogas or compost.

  • Vegetables and fruits (peels, cores)
  • Eggshells, cheese, cottage cheese
  • Bones and thermally processed meat and fish (including bones and fins)
  • Tea and coffee grounds
  • Cut or wilted flowers
  • Tree leaves and small branches (~2cm in diameter and up to 50cm in length)
  • Garden plants, roots, weeds, seedlings
  • Mowed grass

It is important to responsibly sort and dispose of waste in sufficient quantities to avoid strong odors or attract animals. The same waste is generally still being disposed of, but now in separate containers. It is recommended to keep the lids of waste containers closed to prevent unwanted visitors, such as birds, from scavenging.

To reduce the tariff for sorting organic waste, containers of various sizes can be requested, which are emptied according to a schedule. Both individuals and legal entities can apply for this service.

A good alternative for sorting organic waste is to create compost for household needs if circumstances allow. However, meat or fish products should not be placed in the compost.

Other sorted waste, such as glass and lightweight packaging (plastic, paper, metal), is collected free of charge. In designated collection areas for sorted waste, various types of sorted waste, not just packaging but also batteries, accumulators, electronic devices, clothing, and metal, can be handed in without charge. Pay attention to the instructions on the container regarding the types of waste it is intended for. In case of any uncertainties, consult your waste management service.

By starting to sort waste, it is possible to reduce costs and contribute to the environment!