One of the new smart cams to be installed in the forests of Riga, Source: Riga Municipality

Riga to control illegal waste dumping in its forests with modern video system

Riga to control illegal waste dumping in its forests with modern video system

The Latvian capital has the most forested territory among large cities of Europe

The capital of Latvia, Riga, is considered the most forested among the large European cities, thanks to expansive wooded areas located in the peripheries of the city. The forests, apart from providing fresh air, however, also attract plenty of illegal waste dumping on their grounds.

As a result, “Rīgas meži”, the municipal company in charge of greenery management, reported today that it is planning to update its video surveillance system with smarter technology.

Existing video surveillance hasn’t been as effective

In 2021, almost 1,500 tons and more than 1,000 m3 of various waste, as well as almost 30 tons of tires were collected in the territories managed by the company. Compared to 2020, the amount of waste in forests and parks has increased by almost one third. Damages are also on the rise, especially in the parks during the warmer months of the year. 

This means that the existing surveillance system has not proven as effective as desired and thus it needs to be updated.

"The new system is being tested in Riga first because it is the capital and its forests are the favourite places for illegal polluters. Waste is a big problem as a whole. Both municipal and bulky waste and vehicle tires, as well as hazardous waste, such as slates, are dumped in the forests,” explained Anita Skudra, Chairman of the Board of Rīgas meži.

The new system has several advantages. It works online and is connected to a security system (through remote control). It is also able to respond to a signal (movement), stores records in an archive and has other technological advantages.

As a result, prompt arrival of the responsible service at the scene, immediate identification of the perpetrators (their vehicles) and detention of the perpetrators are ensured. 



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