The expert described the solution to the garbage problem

– environmental Problems are surely among the top 5 topics that the inhabitants of the country called the priority. They coexist with such vital things like health and education. Russians are not only ascertain the presence of environmental problems – they are willing to make efforts to solve them. But only in conjunction with the state. People are willing to participate in the rescue of nature, if they see the interest of the authorities (both Federal and local) in this work.

Photo: Larisa Ionova/WG Why near Rostov can’t build a waste-processing complex

One of the main themes that concerned people of Russia – household waste. Here sociologists fix a number of problems: it is the irritation from irregular waste collection in some cities, and dissatisfaction with neighborhood garbage landfills, and concern over dangerous objects accumulated damage (like the “red forest” in Leningrad region or Black hole in Nizhny Novgorod). The theme of garbage because people care so much about that it literally catches the eye: it is impossible not to notice the mountains of garbage, if they are under your window, to get used to the smell of waste coming from the landfill a couple of miles.

All these concerns are supported by specific and rather frightening numbers: according to the latest estimates of the world Bank in the year of the world formed 2 billion tons of municipal solid wastes in Russia accounts for 70 million tons. Almost half – 44% – is organic and food waste, 17% paper and cardboard and plastic waste accounts for about 12%, in Russia is about 3 million tons. Almost 90% of all waste is sent to landfills, where it decomposes over years and decades (and even centuries in the case of plastic), poisoning the soil and the atmosphere. The total area of dumps and landfills in Russia – 4 million hectares. It is comparable to the dimensions of such States as Denmark, Belgium or the Netherlands.

But the trash problem is a very specific solution – sorting and recycling. The logic is simple: the more carefully we sort the waste, separating the wet organic waste from dry (plastic, glass, cardboard), the more raw material you can recycle, the less garbage will go in the trash. In this case, if polygons will be dumped organic waste, this will not only reduce the amount of landfill, but also minimises the negative impact of waste on nature.

Illegal burning of waste was discovered by environmentalists in Moscow

Skeptics say: in the West, this system works for decades, there is all necessary infrastructure for sorting, processing and recycling of raw materials, works effective mechanism of extended producer responsibility, and in Russia all this or not, or is in its infancy. I agree with these arguments, but only partially. Russia falls behind the US, Europe and Japan, but processes are. A year ago in most regions of Russia in the framework of the national project “Ecology” launched a new waste management system that includes creation of necessary infrastructure (marshalling yards, recycling plants), a new approach to logistics. And as the industry as a whole and at the household level. I mean separate waste collection.

the Introduction of the new system goes with variable success. There are regions of the Champions who successfully cope with the complex task of “garbage” reform. And there are regions – outsiders who are not yet able to organize on its territory even regular garbage collection.

the Driver of the widespread transition to separate collection in Russia may be Moscow, which launched this system in January 2020. Capital has started to build a new system long before the new year: the first tanks began to appear in the summer, and by December almost all container PLOthe ground was ready for separate collection. Tanks for oily dirty waste established in the city and municipal facilities, parks.

the success of that the Moscow authorities have chosen the optimal approach to sorting waste is divided into two tanks, not four or six, as in some cities in the US and Europe. First, it is easier for people don’t need to cram into your kitchen a few containers for debris to understand the kinds of plastic, strictly separate cardboard from glass and metal. The proposed system maximum convenient performance: wet, dirty waste (cleaning, egg shells, food leftovers) in one tank, dry trash in the other. Second, it is logical from the perspective of urban density: to find a place under six tanks in every yard of the capital is simply unrealistic.

Now for the Muscovites. At the end of last year on the portal “Active citizen” was a survey of public opinion regarding the readiness of Muscovites to sort the trash. Almost 90% said that they positively evaluate the initiative, more than half said that they are ready to sort, if there is appropriate infrastructure. Well, the infrastructure is there – now we need to see how many people actually move from theory to practice.

Photo: EPA What income brings self-delivery of waste for recycling

There is the problem – recognize the authority of Moscow. The city area is huge, the process involved dozens of management companies, hundreds of performers – janitors, drivers of garbage trucks. As a result, not all the yards until the tanks are installed, not all container sites are decorated, in the end, the wipers and the drivers do not always understand the principles of the new system. All these problems are gradually being solved: the city authorities promise that the tanks would be brought to uniformity, trash Operathe Torah promises rewards to those who will report an error in the work of their employees.

In fact that offer musorovozy of the company and the government of Moscow, is the involvement of residents in setting up a new system. They give people the opportunity to be more proactive, to address your concern about the environment into action. And this may be the main know-how capital in the case of separate waste collection. Perhaps the new system with such difficulty taking root in some Russian cities because people don’t understand how much depends on them, not see the connection between the action in your kitchen and garbage areas “somewhere far away”. And certainly they are not obvious of their role in the decision “garbage” problems across the country. But perhaps it is through such small actions to start sorting garbage at home, supervise the work of janitors in your own backyard – and come to understand how our every action can be useful or harmful from the point of view of caring about nature.

Prepared Elena Berezina