02.04.2008 - RMK helps support the clean-up of waste with more than MEEK 3  10.10

According to the agreement to be signed on 2 April, the State Forest Management Centre (RMK) will support the cleaning-up of waste from Estonian forests with more than MEEK 3 in the course of the citizen initiative “Teeme Ära 2008” (“Let’s Do It! 2008”).

Within the framework of the “Teeme Ära 2008” citizen imitative, 80% of illegally dumped waste in Estonia has been mapped as of today; there is 10 000 tons of illegally dumped waste in the Estonian forests and along the roads. 1/6 of the mapped waste is located in the state forest.

In the course of the “Teeme Ära 2008” citizen initiative, RMK will provide compensation for the transport and disposal costs of the waste to be collected from the state forest, which will amount to approximately MEEK 3 according to estimates. In addition to this, the employees of RMK will help to map waste dumps in Estonian forests and instruct volunteers during the clean-up operation on 3 May.

“The state forest is our own common value and asset that must be approached prudently and with care,” Aigar Kallas, Chairman of the Management Board of RMK, commented on the work with volunteers. “RMK has organised waste clean-ups in previous years as well, and will probably have to do so again in the future. But it is clear that the dumping or taking of waste into the forest by people cannot be considered normal. We hope that the big clean-up initiative will contribute to changing the general mindset and increasing environment-awareness.”

Compared to previous years, this year's clean-up activities in the state forest will be at least three times bigger. “For example, last year, RMK cleaned up 430 tons of waste from the state forest. To help picture it better, it would take 22 large train carriages to transport that amount of waste. Last year, EEK 726 000 was spent on the clean-up,” said Aigar Kallas, Chairman of the Management Board of RMK. “This was mainly municipal and construction waste, but among other things, the employees of RMK cleaned up more than 18 tons of hazardous waste from the forests as well!” According to estimates by RMK, the waste situation has not improved much over the years; in recent years, it has instead become worse near settlements.

In addition to forest cleaning, RMK is cooperating with the citizen initiative “Teeme Ära 2008” within the framework of the contest for writing bed-time stories for children. Namely, in cooperation with the children’s portal www.lastekas.ee, Eesti Televisioon’s children’s programme “Saame kokku Tomi juures,” Eesti Päevaleht, RMK and Fazer, the citizen initiative will organise a contest entitled “Puhta Eesti unejutt” (“Bed-time story for a clean Estonia”) for the writing of bed-time stories, which invites all children in forms 1-12 to think of exciting adventures with different characters. Contest works, together with the data of the author (name, school, form and telephone number), are expected until 18 April at the e-mail address unejutt@teeme2008.ee. The winner will be announced at the Clean Estonia Party on 4 May.

The best stories will be recorded and can be listened to later at the portal www.lastekas.ee and read at the web page of Eesti Päevaleht. The winners will receive awards from RMK, which will provide an educational forest day at Sagadi Forest Centre for the winner of each age group together with four of their friends.

In the course of the citizen initiative Teeme Ära 2008, the illegally dumped waste mapped in Estonian forests will be cleaned up. At the moment, volunteers are awaited to sign up for the big national clean-up day that will take place on 3 May. Registrations for groups with 3-15 members can be made at the address www.teeme2008.ee. As of now, nearly 7000 Estonians have registered.

Additional information:
Tiina Urm
Media Manager for “Teeme Ära 2008”
gsm +372 5904 0404
Skype: twistedtiina

Aigar Kallas
Chairman of the Management Board of RMK
+372 676 7299, +372 528 1299