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Recycling in Riga

Updated: Feb 2

Riga like any city creates TOO MUCH waste. So how can you who live here help out to make the city more sustainable?

The key to waste is not to make it in the first place! But is that really an option in the 21st Century with our hunger for new and fast products? Probably not. Surely we can try our best by recycling our waste in Riga,


Zero waste shops in Riga


We can however try and use some of the cool Zero waste shops in Riga as a means to reduce our waste and a good source to find shops and swap, give away groups you will find Zero waste Latvia here Most activity is through the Facebook group, so sign up and ask questions to locals interested in the cause!


Where do I recycle my waste in Riga?


Many of you who have moved to Riga may be wondering how to best dispose of your waste in the most environmentally way possible. At first glance it does seem that in Riga recycling is not a priority and considering that Latvia is one of the 'greenest' countries in Europe this comes as quite a surprise. To start with let us address the claim that Latvia is one of the 'greenest' countries around. This term is often thrown around locally and abroad and usually refers not to the recycling habits of Latvians or the Latvian green energy industry but because Latvia has a lot of natural space. Forests make up for over 50% of Latvia's total land coverage and this often gives Latvia the 'green' name.


Sadly, if you have spent some time out there in the Latvian nature you will find that there is plenty of dumped human waste, on roadsides, beauty spots, in the middle of the forest, pretty much everywhere! Even on designated nature trails. Why is this? Do people not respect their land or is it simply that the waste management and environmental education is not up to scratch? Such a weighted question is open to debate so in the article we are going to focus on how YOU can clear up after yourself and do your bit to keeping Latvia green and clean.


News just in! Riga has just opened a new deposit system for bottles, plastic and glass - find out more in the following link recycling in Riga


Where to recycle electronic waste in Riga?


Phones, Laptops, batteries, washing machines, you name it, we use it and when the life cycle is up we inevitability retire these items. But where can you dispose of these safely and correctly in Riga?


For Battery recycling in Riga check out this map here

For Electronics and House hold goods check here


Glass recycling in Riga


These days in Riga house management companies of apartments should offer their clients the right to their own bottle bank. If the house owners agree then a container can be added alongside their general waste. There is also a number of bottle collection points that exchange bottles for a small amount of money. These are mostly used by the 'bottle collectors' guys who, at the bottom end of society scourer the waste of Riga is search of items of value. Some people, deliberately make it easier for these guys by bagging up the bottles and and leaving them for them to take.


When using the official bottle bins you should rinse the bottles before they go on.


Paper, plastic and cardboard recycling


As with the Glass recycling, plastics and cardboard bins are also available for houses in Riga. It is usually the yellow bin. These can fill up quickly but not all the waste is actually recyclable and people have a habit of throwing in contaminated or non crushed material which kind of ruins the whole load. In my yard I recently caught a foreigner dumping loads of his waste in our bins, I pointed out that we pay for how many times the bins get taken away and that he should find a public recycling point. That does seem weird but its just a fact, we are paying per load of recycling to be taken away. To be honest, I am not sure how much actually ends up recycled and how much gets burnt in the incinerators.


Plastic bottle depositing points are now popping up around Riga in the larger supermarkets. In the link shown here you can see a map with all the shops that have these machines You can also deposit them at the locations show here


Organic recycling in Riga


Riga has a number of city gardens and initiatives to help compost green waste but for general house waste in Riga the company Clean R deals with, they also offer organic bins that can handle the biodegradable waste. You can find more info here.


Recycle textile waste in Riga

I would personally encourage you to donate clothing to Otra Elpa, a second hand retailer that raises money for various causes and has a good vibe going for them - Check them out here


If the material is worn and needs getting rid of then find an art group or school that may take it. Or if the clothing is still good for use you may drop them off here



Recycling in Riga takes a lot of work and effort!


As with all thing in Riga, Latvia, time is the key. The idea of recycling is relatively new and just developing in the minds of the locals. You will find that not everyone cares about it, nor are they convinced that actual recycling is taking place. many feel that the companies responsible for the waste management are interest solely in gaining financial benefit from the movement and so, we are left with a long way to go before Riga cleans its act up! We hope that we helped you to find locations to remove your waste in Riga in a greener manner.


For a general listing of what and where you can drop off things check out the link here


If you find any further information that may help our readers to recycle in Riga please do contact us to make improvements on the post.

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