Organic Waste Recycling Takes Hold

According to Lithuania’s Environment Ministsry, 38 municipalities are already recycling organic waste. As of June 1, the district of Plungė joins the list, as will Kelmė and Šilutė on July 1. In September Kėdainiai, Akmenė, Palanga, and Klaipėda districts will be added, with Marijampolė in October and Kaunas region by year-end.

Deputy Environment Ministesr Raminta Radavičienė notes that most people understand the need to separate recyclables, and though some municipalities were slow on the uptake,  most of Lithuania will be separating organic waste. This is being done in accordance with the European Union directive that all organic waste from parks and gardens, homes,  offices, retail and wholesale outlets as well as restaurants must be collected separately or composted. Since the beginning of 2024, over 3,000 tons of organic waste have been collected.

Each municipality is responsible for its organic waste collection system. For example, in the Vilnius region, food waste is collected in orange plastic bags to be deposited in mixed garbage containers to be separated after collection.

A survey of municipalities revealed a mixed response regarding depositing organic waste in separate bags. Some of their populations are not sufficiently informed or motivated regarding separation of waste, and deposit it with packaging. The Environment Ministry’s experts provide specific lists of the type of waste that is considered organic.

Organic waste is processed in special facilities and made into high-grade compost for use in agriculture and gardening, and is an excellent substitute for peat and synthetic fertilizer. In some areas organic waste is used to produce biogases for heating and electric energy.