RMK waste-sorting policy

Estonia has set the goal that from 2020, at least 50% of waste must be recycled, and generating mixed waste in its current amount must end.
First, it is necessary to ensure waste prevention, and as much waste as possible should be prepared for reuse and recovered.
An informed user of forest benefits never leaves anything in nature that does not belong there. Transport of waste from remote and inaccessible places is an expensive, and often a complex activity that consumes non-renewable raw material. To reduce the ecological footprint of waste management in nature, we strive to ensure that every nature tourist takes their rubbish to the respective waste disposal site.
RMK has provided opportunities for disposal of rubbish in several places in nature areas, but these are primarily meant for backpackers. We ask those who travel by car to take all their rubbish away with them.
Follow the principle of keeping the forest clean and always have a trash bag with you when you walk in nature.
Tips for waste management in nature areas
Food you have taken with you
Food and cooking waste account for most of the waste generated in nature. This type of waste includes biowaste, packages and household waste related to cooking and consuming food.

What to do with biowaste in nature?
  • Take left-over food with you – a sandwich that has been with you in the forest will taste wonderful at home!
  • Put food waste and other biowaste in a biowaste bin or compost bin, if available.
  • When hiking, you may throw a small amount of food waste into the dry toilet. Don’t discard biowaste into other types of toilet to avoid clogging.
  • Don’t put biowaste into waste bins not intended for biowaste, where it will stink and smear or damage other waste that would otherwise be suitable for recycling. Food waste must not be thrown on the ground – even biodegradable waste will not disappear within hours or days. Food waste that has been tossed on the ground is an unpleasant sight and dangerous for wild animals, for whom human processed food is usually unsuitable. If it is not possible to take food waste with you, a small amount may be buried in the soil.
  • NB! Never pour any biowaste in a waterbody!
  • Soiled biodegradable containers may be placed in mixed waste bins or in a composter or biowaste bin, if available.
  • Used paper towel may be placed in the bonfire, dry toilet or compost bin.
  • NB! Event or camp organisers must collect the biowaste separately and remove it.
What to do with packages in nature?
  • Thank you for being proactive and using waste-free food packaging (reusable containers, combustible material)!
  • Clean cardboard food boxes may be taken to paper and cardboard waste containers.
  • You may burn small amounts of soiled cardboard or wooden food packages and paper in the bonfire or in the open fireplace of a forest hut during the season when bonfires are allowed. Don’t leave it for others to do – rubbish in a fire ring is not a pleasant sight to look at.
  • Take deposit-refund packages with you and return them to a collection site.
  • Take clean mixed packaging (without any traces of food) into a container for mixed packaging waste. If there is a separate bin for glass packaging in the collection site, put glass bottles etc. in the respective bin. Note the marking on the container so you know what to put where.
  • Very soiled packages (for example, a barbecue pack with sauce traces) must be disposed of in a household waste bin.
  • Never throw aluminium foil or plastic packaging in the fire, because they may leave non-biodegradable traces and emit toxic gases.
What to do with household waste?
  • NB! All very soiled packaging and disposable dishes or utensils are household waste. Don’t discard them into mixed packaging bin, as this will nullify the good work of careful waste sorters!
  • Make sure that the disposable barbecue grill has cooled down completely before you put it in a waste bin!
  • If you have used your own barbecue grill, pour ashes from the grill into the fire ring. When the ashes are completely cool, you may put them into a household waste bin.
  • NB! It is prohibited to throw hot disposable barbecue grills, charcoal, and ashes in a household waste bin!
Hiking and fishing equipment and other equipment
  • Things that have been broken or become useless when hiking or during other activities are usually household waste. Take them away with you!
  • Hikers may place broken footwear, clothes, or other broken equipment in the nearest household waste bin. Those who arrive by car should take their rubbish home or to a public waste-sorting site.
  • NB! The empty gas cylinder of your hiking stove is not household waste! Nature tourists must take these away with them to a hazardous waste collection point.
  • The package of fishing gear will go into mixed packaging bin. Take empty worm boxes or containers with you – these can be reused.
  • Take broken fishing gear with you and dispose of them in a household waste bin. Fishing lines, hooks etc. that are left behind can cause injuries to wild animals and other nature tourists.
Personal hygiene
  • In the absence of a toilet, dig a hole in the ground further away from all waterbodies, paths, or the campsite. When you have relieved yourself, cover the hole with soil and plants. NB! This also applies to used toilet paper!
  • Don’t throw used paper tissue and napkins in the forest; take them with you! You may burn them in the fire, throw them into the dry toilet or household waste container. When left on the ground, they take up to two years to decompose!
  • Nappies, sanitary pads, tampons, and panty liners are household waste. Don’t throw them in nature, in a dry toilet or fire. When left on the ground, they can take up to 75 years to decompose. When burnt, they produce toxic gases and non-degradable residues.
  • Bottles and containers of detergents etc. may be placed in a mixed packaging waste bin only if empty.
Walking outdoors with a pet
  • Pet food packages will go into mixed package waste.
  • A broken leash or pet toys are household waste.
  • To clean up your pet’s droppings, carry a small bag with you. In public-use areas like walking trails, campsites, campfire sites and other prepared objects, owners must clean up after their pets.
  • Throw your pet’s droppings (without the bag, which is household waste) preferably into a dry toilet or make a hole further away from all waterbodies, paths, and the campsite. Cover the hole with soil and plants.

In natural areas, don’t leave or put the following waste in any of our waste bins:
Hazardous waste: always take gas cylinders of your hiking stove, syringes, left-over medications with you and take them to a waste station or a collection point of hazardous waste.
Electronic waste: take broken mobile phones, GPS devices, cameras etc. away with you and take them to a collection point of electronic waste or to a waste station.
Batteries: take both rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries into any store where they are sold.