“Today’s article of Eesti Ekspress about recycling policy is unfortunately clearly focused on political polarisation and related approach. The content and purpose – better organisation of the Estonian waste management – of the proposed amendments has been left out. The position that today’s waste management functions very well is premature.
The new draft was developed, since there are very clear bottlenecks that need to be resolved. First of all, the issue of competitiveness in the sector. The Estonian Competition Authority has expressed its clear position that the current Waste Act is unduly restricting free entrepreneurship and markets related to the waste management should be fully opened similarly to a majority of other areas of activity. The objective of the changes is to offer people an opportunity to choose their service provider.
Secondly, one cannot be satisfied with the separate collection of waste. Recent studies show that municipal waste along with packages is generated approximately in the amount of 400 kilograms a year per person. The draft contributes to separate collection in order to ensure that this would motivate the Estonian households in terms of price and convenience. It should be uniquely clear for a person that when waste is sorted and collected separately, the garbage bill is significantly smaller than in case waste is thrown into a single container altogether.
It is clear that the different influences of the proposed waste transport should be clearly and openly discussed. For example, there have been several discussions on the topic that if the number of waste transporters increases, there are more waste transport cars on the street. Our analyses also indicate that it may be the case, especially in the beginning. At the same time, we do not estimate that the increase in the number of cars is so significant, since on the other hand, the amendments are accompanied by a better channelling of sorted waste into the recycling process. Without a doubt, the key point is to ensure the availability of municipal waste transport services at affordable prices to consumers also in rural areas, especially in sparsely populated areas.
To reassure you, I confirm that currently, we are only halfway through this process – we collect reasoned opinions, evaluate influences, and coordinate the positions of different ministries. The draft will reach the Government once it is ready and if all parties are satisfied and understand this in the same way. The act of shaping misleading views does not contribute to this process much.
Political debates on the draft will be held by our newly elected Riigikogu. By returning to the topic of the elections on which it is worth to read an article, I would like to add that the thesis – to give people the opportunity to choose a waster transporter – is a part of electoral programs of several parties of the Riigikogu today.