National Audit Office: many local governments disregard the waste transport obligation

Toomas Mattson | 8/7/2008 | 12:00 AM

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TALLINN, 7 August 2008 - The National Audit Office (NAO) analysed the situation of waste management in Estonian local governments (LGs) and found that many LGs fail to comply with the express statutory obligations relating to waste management: about 43 % of the LGs have not complied with the obligation to organise waste transport and about 30 % have ignored the obligation to prepare a waste management plan. The situation is somewhat better with waste management rules which are missing in 5 % of the LGs.

The waste management rules of some LGs do not meet the legislative requirements in substantive aspects or fail to regulate adequately the organisational aspects or the basis of monitoring of waste management.

The share of persons exempt from organised waste management differs many times over in the LGs. In the examined LGs, the share of exempt persons ranged from 0.1 to 28 %. Without questioning the right to make exemptions in this context, the NAO underlines that the justification of exemptions must be supported by regular monitoring.

Also, the NAO ascertained that the number of LGs which co-operate in the area of waste management through the relevant organisations is limited. Co-operation in waste management has justified itself on multiple occasions, but a large share of LGs (about 100) have not considered the same form of co-operation necessary. The NAO believes that co-operation should yield benefits mainly to the smaller LGs.

The audit led to some positive conclusions as well. To facilitate the collection of waste by type, the LGs have began setting up a network of waste transfer stations and collection points, although the level of activeness of LGs has varied in this regard.

More or less, the LGs have started to pay attention to increasing the population’s awareness of waste issues. However, it should be mentioned that the success of awareness-raising depends largely on its consistency and that the desired effect cannot be achieved with one-off measures.

Toomas Mattson
Communication Manager of National Audit Office
Telephone: 6400 777
Mob: 51 34900
E-mail: [email protected]


Additional information

The NAO analysed how the LGs have complied with their obligations in waste management. In the wider perspective, it is important that the measures implemented in waste management are effective and support sustainable use of resources, reduce the environmental impact of waste and thus ensure a cleaner living environment. As far as the clean living environment is concerned, it can be assumed that effective waste management serves the interests and constitutes a legitimate expectation of the majority of the people.

The situation of waste management depends largely on the activities of the LGs which have a number of statutory obligations in this regard and which, being aware of and taking into account the local circumstances, organise local waste management. The LGs' decisions determine the individuals’ daily routines in their capacity as waste generators, because the LGs are the ones which have to establish the detailed arrangements for collecting, transporting and disposing of waste in the place of residence or business.

As another aspect, compliance with or disregard for waste management obligations as a part of an LG's functions characterises the LG’s overall administrative capacity and its ability to manage local affairs.

  • Posted: 8/7/2008 12:00 AM
  • Last Update: 9/15/2015 8:51 AM
  • Last Review: 9/15/2015 8:51 AM

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