The years 2005–2008 can be considered successful for Estonia’s population due to thriving consumerism and a sense of wellbeing. However, the increase in consumption also presented new threats to environmental sustainability. As a result of economic prosperity, many people disregarded the consequences of hasty decisions made in the fields of planning and construction without considering their impact on the natural environment.
The conditions for bank loans encouraged the construction of residential areas wherever free space existed, resulting in dwellings being built in the middle of fields where they lacked basic utilities and had no access to public transport. Transport schemes that were not subject to sufficient consideration increased motorisation, and thus also the pollution of the environment as well as low quality of life.
A further area that requires efficient management by the local government is the organisation of waste handling. While it is necessary for several local governments to cooperate when organising waste management, just like public transport, few positive examples of this process are to be found today. The sorting and recovery of waste as well as the discharge or burning of waste are expensive activities that, on the one hand, require the availability of sufficient resources (waste), and, on the other hand, necessitate the observance of a uniform set of rules by all parties.
The differences in waste management prices inside and between local government units result from the inability of local governments to establish common regulations and opportunities for waste handlers.
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