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Estonia imports rubbish to keep power plant running

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Estonia has become an importer of other countries’ rubbish in order to keep one of its power plants running. Last year, the country importede some 56,000 tonnes of refuse for its waste-to-energy power plant at Iru.

That fuel imports – waste from other countries – came primarily from Finland, but also from territories as far afield as Ireland. Eesti Energia board member Raine Pajo said that rubbish imports represent good value for Estonia: “Let’s be honest, the handling of foreign garbage pays better,” he says.

Eesti Energia cannot import as much rubbish as it wants, Katrin Kaare of the Estonian Environment Agency told ERR. The Estonian government has made it clear that local refuse must be dealt with first before import licences can be granted, she said.