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Starting in the New Year, separate collection of waste will become mandatory

Tartu City Government Press Release


31 August / The City Government sent to the City Council a draft amendment to the Waste Handling Rules of the City of Tartu. The main changes are related to the new requirements arising from the Waste Act for the separate collection of municipal waste.

‘The most important changes are related to the collection of bio-waste. By the end of this year, at the latest, local governments must organise the separate collection of bio-waste, if it is not composted at the source of production,’ explained Ülle Mauer, Head of the Environmental Service of the City Government.

The draft act specifies the requirements for the separate collection of bio-waste.

As of 1 January 2024, properties must have a separate collection container for bio-waste regardless of the number of apartments (until now, the requirement for a separate collection container applied to properties with at least 5 apartments or bio-waste generation of at least 80 litres per week). Residents, businesses and institutions must join in the removal of bio-waste from the source. The replacement of a bio-waste collection container with composting can be applied for by properties with up to four apartments, if the kitchen waste is composted on the same property and consent has been obtained from the Department of Communal Services for composting at the source of production of kitchen waste. In order to obtain consent, an application must be submitted with a photo of the composting container (composter) being used.

Starting with the New Year, it will be prohibited to place waste, the separate collection of which is mandatory, in collection containers for mixed municipal waste. In this way, for example, food waste, paper and other separately collected waste cannot be placed in those containers. This will prevent different types of materials from ending up in mixed municipal waste, where it is impossible to recycle them.

The bill includes an amendment that will allow for the less frequent emptying of mixed municipal waste containers from properties with fewer than 10 apartments – at least once every 12 weeks. Less frequent collection of mixed municipal waste may be permitted because waste, including bio-waste, is collected separately on all properties. The frequency of transport of mixed municipal waste from properties with ten or more apartments will remain in force, which is at least once every two weeks.

The bio-waste collection tank must be emptied at a frequency that prevents overflow, odour and pest production, and pollution of the surrounding area. The bio-waste collection container must be emptied at least once every four weeks on a property with a detached house and up to four apartments; once every two weeks on a property with five to nine apartments; and once a week on a property with ten or more apartments.

Across the country, the obligation to separately collect bio-waste will enter into force on 01 January 2024, which is also followed by the Waste Handling Rules of the City of Tartu.


Helle Tolmoff

avalike suhete osakond

Tel: 736 1336
Mob: 529 4297

Last changed 31.08.2023