Where does the kitchen waste of educational institutions go? / Script


In Dobele, residents can sort bio waste already from 2022

Residents of Dobele can also order brown containers for organic waste already since August 2020. Alona Isajeva, head of the sanitary department of the company “Dobeles communal services”, explained that the sorting of biological waste is friendlier to citizens’ wallets than disposing of household waste in a landfill.

“Disposal is more expensive than biological waste management, because biological waste is not subject to the natural resource tax, which is now 95 euros per ton, but from the new year it will already be 110 euros per ton. Because it makes the tariff for household waste more expensive and because we the more we sort organic waste, the cheaper it will be for residents. Currently, the fee for organic waste is 80% of household waste, but with the new year, 60% of the fee for household waste is planned,” said Isayeva.

According to her, owners of private houses are more interested in brown bio containers.

“The first were private individuals, followed by educational institutions – two kindergartens from Dobele and one from Auri. It’s grass, leaves, small twigs, but so far we have had no contact with food waste.”

Negotiations are currently underway with the manager of the apartment building.

There is not much food waste in the gymnasium; cooperation with farmers

Dobele State Gymnasium is also thinking about ordering a biocontainer. The director of the educational institution, Ines Diže, said that it would be more for educational purposes.

“We were probably the first, at least among the city’s schools, to ask the utility company for the opportunity to sort waste into separate containers. We had a place to set it up and that’s how we learned to separate paper from other waste. Now we will learn to separate, for example, apple cores and maybe any other surpluses that arise in the hands of students.”

School kitchen bio-containers

Photo: Sandra Leitāne / Latvian Radio

But where does the largest educational institution in Dobele district put food waste?

“We handled our needs a little bit differently. There’s very, very little leftover food waste, and because we’re outsourced, the caterers deal with it themselves. If they have to contract, they’ll contract, but right now they have an agreement with a farm that collects what is left over for eating here – peels, trimmings, etc.

And it goes to dogs, pigs, whatever the owner feeds,” Dije said.

In Aizkraukle, schools have the opportunity to sort bio waste; elsewhere in the county, it is placed with household waste

While the Dobele district has already developed some experience in biological waste sorting, relatively recently the first steps have been taken in the Aizkraukle district. Deputy chairman of the county council Andris Zālītis, who was elected from the list of “Latvia’s development” and the Vidzeme party, said that for a long time the county was in the dark about which waste management region it would be, therefore, currently, when talking about educational institutions, bio-waste is only sorted in Aizkraukle itself and in Aizkraukle parish.

School kitchen

Photo: Sandra Leitāne / Latvian Radio

“Finally, we are in the Latgale waste management region, and as far as biological waste is concerned, we are developing a waste management plan, which will include the procedure for managing this biological waste. Currently, we have four managers in the region, only one manages biological waste, that is Aizkraukles capital company. We have placed 26 containers in the city and Aizkraukles parish to collect biological waste, they are also at catering establishments, where this capital company also collects them and takes them further to the landfill “Vidusdaugavas SPAAO”, Zālītis said.

In schools where there are no containers for organic waste, they are placed with general household waste. “But everyone knows it will have to be done and it will be done.”

Deputy Chairman of Aizkraukle County Council Zālītis added that

this initiative or pilot project of the same capital company started in July and so far 22 tons of biological waste have been collected.

“We are currently in the procurement procedure for the new waste management contracts and the requirements for biological waste contained in the Waste Management Act are also included in this regulation. As far as we have talked with the other operators that we currently have, well, they are ready from January 1 place the containers where we say and where it is needed.”

“Bauskas novadas komunālserviss”: There is an opportunity to sort in the district, schools have their own devices

On the other hand, in the Bauska region, the possibility of sorting biological waste has been offered for two years, but as Uģis Saukums, head of the Bauska district of “Bauska novada komunālserviss” told, it is getting more difficult with municipal institutions – schools and kindergartens.

“We have offered this service to these customers, to place these brown containers and to manage this waste, but we have not succeeded because there are still, let’s say, cheaper options, like these businessmen who have signed a contract for the provision of these services in municipal institutions, they are somehow different that biological waste is dealt with. We work more and successfully cooperate with those clients who are essentially food processing and who have a permit from the State Environmental Service and this permit includes the requirement that this biological waste must also be handed over. Then we will also say this cooperation there is and the service is provided in full, but with these institutions it is more difficult because, as I mentioned, they have their own regulations.”

School kitchen

School kitchen

Photo: Sandra Leitāne / Latvian Radio

What they are, Saukums did not know how to say. This, most likely, depends on which educational institution or caterer has a contract for the management of this waste.

Association: We need to think about how to reduce the amount of biological waste in school kitchens

Meanwhile, the Association of Caterers of Educational Institutions stated that sorting of biological waste is already taking place in almost all kitchens of educational institutions, at least those that are known to them. Most of the contracts are with waste management organizations, choosing to install the containers intended for them, but there are municipalities where there is no such possibility and there a contract is concluded with a company or a private person, stating in the contract that this waste should not be used for productive animals, said the association’s food technologist Ilona Dreimane .

“What we are doing to make this event more effective and acceptable in general, we are directly thinking more about how to reduce this amount of biological waste in the kitchens of educational institutions. We choose vegetables that have already been cleaned as much as possible. Therefore, we already have a significant amount of biological waste here decreases. Then we also invite schools to cooperate, parents to cooperate, and already from the smallest classes,

practically already from kindergarten groups, we invite children to make their own lunch portion,

so learn to put on as much as he can eat. Not that he is given a ready-made portion, where maybe there is something that the child doesn’t like either, and so the child makes his own lunch portion, and thus in this case too, the amount of waste is significantly reduced.”

Also in Jelgava, bio waste sorting has already been implemented in several educational institutions

In Jelgava, brown containers will be available from next year, but as explained by the Deputy Head of the Education Department of Jelgava, Sarmīte Joma, the sorting of biological waste has long been introduced in several educational institutions here as well.

“We have several educational institutions that implement the direction of eco-education, and the sorting of biological waste is actually the basis of this educational philosophy. For example, in kindergartens, all the things left over from cleaning the territory are composted.

Compost is created which is then used in the beds to grow something again with the children.

If we talk about food waste, catering is an outsourced service for us and this issue is solved in cooperation with the caterer.”

Joma said that there is a separate container at the educational institutions, where both leftovers from the cooking process and uneaten food are thrown away.

“Everything left over is put in the sorting bags and the disposal is organized. (..) It is a contract concluded by the caterer with the waste manager. There are a number of kindergartens where there is cooperation with small entrepreneurs who raise livestock and use this leftover product in their farm .”

A compost box has also been created for garden waste in the preschool educational institution “Zīļuks”, while food waste is returned to the farm. The fact that the amount of food waste should be reduced was realized in “Zīlūkas” already five years ago, when working in the eco school project. The children both learned to cook on their own and, under the supervision of teachers and teacher assistants, put the food on the plate themselves.

Inga Luca, the head of the pre-school educational institution, said that the amount of food waste has significantly decreased, but it has never been and will never be the case that all the plates will be eaten empty. Accumulating around 180 liters of food waste per week.

“We have the appropriate containers that we fill with food waste and the farmer collects this waste two to three times a week as needed and takes it to his farm and feeds it to his pets – pigs. The pigs are growing well and the farmer says that they really like our food .”

This year, “Zīļuks” has again been involved in the project on reducing food waste and has set a new goal – to produce no more than 100 liters of food waste per week, which is almost half less than at present.

Although the experience is developing, it will still be a new way of sorting waste

The environmental management company “Eco Baltia vide” told how the sorting of biological waste will be ensured from January 1 of next year, as determined by each municipality in its binding regulations on waste management.

Looking at the regions where the company operates, for example, the municipalities of Riga and Salaspils have stipulated in their regulations that sorting is compulsory for cafes, shops, gas stations. This also applies to the municipality

“They have an externally engaged caterer, then a contract for the removal of bio-waste must be concluded with the specific company. If it is organized internally by a specific, say, a municipal canteen, then this bio-waste contract must be concluded with the institution itself,” said Andris Ziemelis, director of “Eco Baltia vide” .

In general, speaking about the sorting of biological waste, since the experience and opportunities in municipalities are different, then, looking at how other types of waste sorting have been done so far, starting from January 1, it will still be a relatively new way of sorting waste.

“If we look at history, we learned to sort packaging, cardboard, plastic and the like for a hundred years, maybe even 20 years,

and we still see that there are groups of people who are learning to do this. The main setting would be that you should not throw out any type of, say, plastic packages in organic containers, for example, if they were some kind of hot dogs in a package, you should not throw them out either, this means that organic waste must be clean. We must not forget the biological waste of the garden, where there is, say, grass, leaves inside and fine twigs, there again the biggest problem is with thuja, but they must not be placed.”

Not only compost can be made from biological waste, but as added by the director of “Eco Baltia vide” Ziemelis, gas and heat can also be produced from it, as is already happening, for example, at the “Getliņi” waste landfill.

The article is in Latvian

Tags: kitchen waste educational institutions Script


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