Recycling is processing used materials (waste) into new products to prevent waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy usage, reduce air pollution (from incineration) and water pollution (from landfilling) by reducing the need for “conventional” waste disposal, and lower greenhouse gas emissions as compared to virgin production.
Recyclable materials include many kinds of glass, paper, metal, plastic, textiles, and electronics. Materials to be recycled are either brought to a collection center or picked up from the curbside, then sorted, cleaned, and reprocessed into new materials bound for manufacturing. In Riga mostly curbside collection takes place.
Curbside collection encompasses many subtly different systems, which differ mostly on where in the process the recyclates are sorted and cleaned. The main categories are mixed waste collection, commingled recyclables and source separation. A waste collection vehicle generally picks up the waste.
In order to meet recyclers’ needs while providing manufacturers a consistent, uniform system, a coding system is developed.
Normally city council should provide a booklet or information on which recycling codes are acceptable in local recycling plant. According to L&T website Latvia only recycles PET and PE plastics, which are number 1 and 2 recycling codes for plastics.
For paper you can generally recycle all paper products except for those containing plastic or foil elements or glassy journal covers.
As for glass there is a well known phenomenon and a perfect example how recycling is encourage through financial reward. Beer bottles and the like have been a way to get some pocket money for myself too, when I was a kid. Now sadly to admit it is one of the means of income for homeless people. So if you don’t find a recycling bin nearby after finishing one of the delicious beers in Riga, just leave it on the curb, soon it will be picked up and delivered to one of the recycling points where agents get their reward for it. Other than that most of all glass products are recycle except for lightbulbs, car window glass and broken plates.
Here you can find all recycling codes description.