Russian cities will drown in trash

Ecologists claim that within 5-8 years all Russian megacities will drown in their own trash.

Today the garbage issue for Moscow is as critical as never before. Ecologists predict: in five years the capital followed by the rest of the large cities will drown in their own trash. The root of the problem lies in the absence of modern technology for separable garbage gathering and recycling of the waste materials, as well as in the constant rule violations of Moscow dumping services, which do more harm than good.

The only way out of the current situation is through the immediate state intervention, but the authorities are not in a hurry to solve the problem in a radical way. Instead they continue to shift the responsibility, Novie Izvestiya reports.

At the end of last week the Moscow Duma members reviewed some corrections to the city law of “production and consumption wastes.” For many it was a long-awaited session. The crisis can no longer be ignored. Judging by the Greenpeace data reports, the amount of city garbage growth has recently increased by 5-9%.

Just in 2005 city leaders were able to detect 158 unauthorized dumpsters adding to an average area of 658 ha. On top of that the polluted territory has doubled its size in the last ten years. This applies not only to the capital. If no changes happen soon then within 5-8 years all cities will be filled with trash to the top.

The Moscow Duma deputies mainly blamed the garbage truck drivers of private companies for the excessive city littering. According to the officials’ view the workers dump the trash before they even reach the allocated disposal site. Duma members suggested fines and penalties as a means of enforcing responsible behavior.

However, the thesis appears to be controversial. The heads of private garbage companies are convinced that the deputies are dodging personal responsibility and looking for scapegoats in order to once again avoid the radical solution. “I personally haven’t seen these unauthorized dumpsters anywhere,” claimed Shamil Aynetdinov, the vice-president of Eko-Stil.

Ecologists on the other hand also believe that the officials are seeking to avoid the required measures – organizing an adequate system for garbage separation and recycling within the city.

The main reason for capital’s trash overflowing is not garbage truck drivers’ disobedience but rather the absence of civilized forms for waste utilization. Greenpeace Russia reports that Moscow annually produces more than 3 million ton of solid domestic waste (SDW) and more than 6 million ton of commercial refuse. While 60% of the latter undergoes some sort of recycling at the production plants, still 90% of all trash if simply growing adn rotting on a daily basis.


Translated by Natalia Vysotskaya

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Author`s name Oksana Anikina