Almost 64% of the municipal solid waste generated in Latvia ends up in 10 landfills. Investments during 2014-2020 mean the municipal solid waste recycling rate has gradually increased, reaching nearly 44% in 2018. However, it is still insufficient to meet the closest target of 55%, set out in the National Waste Management Plan 2021-2028 (NWMP2028), for the year 2025. Packaging waste also presents a challenge as the total recycling rate in 2018 was below 59% and the 2025 target is 65%, which necessitates measures for additional waste sorting infrastructure and stricter requirements for the content of packaging materials to be recyclable. Another challenge is the separate collection of biodegradable waste (including food waste) which must be introduced in all Latvian municipalities by the end of 2023. Reasons for the low quality of separately collected waste, which jeopardises its further recycling and use, are multi-fold and these various constraints have to be identified and addressed. The aforementioned data show the degree of challenges that must be overcome to introduce complex measures for reducing, reusing and recycling of waste in order to reach a 10% landfill target in 2035 and a number of other goals (on recycling and separate collection) as defined by Latvia in the NWMP2028.
The overall aim of this integrated project (IP) is to reduce waste generation, through measures that lead to improved material recovery and circularity and reduce the environmental and carbon footprint of the economy, by fully implementing the measures set out in the Latvian National Waste Management Plan 2021-2028 (NWMP2028).
The specific objectives are to:
- Improve the separated waste collection system by piloting complex management approaches for priority waste streams (biological and food waste, textiles, electronics and information and communications technology, packaging waste, etc.) and ensuring the safe disposal of specific types of hazardous waste;
- Set up a circular system for recycled building materials, including re-use and recycling, sorting of construction waste at construction sites, and improvement of building materials and waste accounting;
- Improve and advance the market for secondary raw materials, reusable and recycled goods, by establishing preconditions and enabling policy instruments;
- Reduce the amount of waste landfilled by improving waste sorting and recycling, including treatment of non-recyclable fractions of municipal solid waste;
- Increase material resource productivity and promote waste prevention and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in all spheres of the economy;
- Promote synergies among industrial production, eco-innovation and waste prevention;
- Improve waste management planning at the national and regional level and its implementation mechanisms through strategically planned capacity-building actions;
- Address gaps in the accounting and monitoring system of waste flows to ensure a more efficient implementation of the NWMP2028 in further planning cycles;
- Expand and deepen cooperation among stakeholders, as well as establishing and strengthening cooperation with neighbouring countries, for more sustainable waste management; and
- Carry out comprehensive and proactive public information, education and awareness-raising work to ensure the involvement of various stakeholders in implementation of the NWMP2028 and regional waste management plans, by changing their attitudes and behavioural patterns in regard to consumption, waste production and reuse, including societal choices in the context of climate change mitigation.
In addition to the IP budget itself, the project will facilitate the coordinated use of more than €96 million in complementary funding from the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, and national and private funds, as applicable.
LIFE Waste To Resources IP will focus on full implementation of the Latvian National Waste Management Plan 2021-2028, developed in accordance with the requirements of the Waste Management Law, and compliant with the EU Waste Framework Directive. The project will also support the EU’s roadmap to a resource efficient Europe, European Green Deal and circular economy action plan.
- The project will contribute to reaching the waste management targets set out in the Latvian National Waste Management Plan 2021-2028, via the following:
- Improved separate collection of waste;
- Up-cycling and reuse of municipal waste;
- Recycling of packaging waste;
- Diverting biodegradable waste and recyclables from landfill; and
- Reaching wide public acceptance of avoiding waste generation and accepting the concept of waste as a material; and
- Almost 23,000 tonnes per year, or 3% of all municipal household solid waste, will be diverted from landfill (from a total baseline of 800,000 tonnes per year).