It turns out that in Vilnius all that is smoke is not necessarily fire, Source: Vilnius Municipality / Sauliaus Žiūros

Vilnius: municipal heating company pollutes less than households

Vilnius: municipal heating company pollutes less than households

Although residents believe that smog is caused by the large industrial chimneys, the reality is somewhat different

Urban air pollution is exacerbated during the winter season, especially if the weather stays dry for longer. In cities like Vilnius, the landscape is often dominated by industrial chimneys spewing out white smoke into the sky. This leads most residents to think that particle pollution and dirty air are to be blamed on these visible signposts. In reality, however, it is private households that are collectively the largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

In the Lithuanian case, the chimneys in question belong to the municipal heating company (Vilnius Heat Networks AB – VŠT). The company has decided to educate the local population and challenge commonly held perceptions about urban pollution.

The heat generating plant in Vilnius follows rigid environmental standards

Research shows that private houses emit even hundreds of times more particulate matter concentrations than industrial automated high-efficiency boilers. VŠT calculates that the three chimneys managed by the company pollute with particulate matter 80 times less than all individual houses fueled by solid fuel (charcoal).

In addition, independent foreign experts annually inspect and confirm that the company's automated pollution monitoring systems meet the highest environmental standards.

Ramūnas Štreimikis, Head of the Occupational Safety and Environment Division of the VŠT, commented on people’s concerns: "Chimneys are one of the most visible objects in the city. We understand that residents of this industrial area are concerned about the odourless white smoke coming from the chimneys. We can assure you that they should not be afraid.

The company responsibly fulfills its environmental obligations, because to act more sustainably and intelligently is one of our main goals, therefore, district heating still remains the most sustainable and environmentally friendly heating method."

Last year, the company adopted and implemented more decisions that contribute to the reduction of pollution. One of the most significant is the abandonment of oil fuel. This has significantly reduced or eliminated emissions of sulphur dioxide, vanadium pentoxide, nitric oxide and other pollutants, and this decision has led to a significant reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.



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