Battle Royale – Garbage Collection Reform in Krasnoyarsk

Battle Royale – Garbage Collection Reform in Krasnoyarsk

Photo: https://dela.ru/

The renovation of the industry related to garbage disposal has failed in Krasnoyarsk, as reported by the Accounts Chamber. Most of the planned activities have not been implemented. Large-scale waste sorting and recycling are out of the question.

The regional auditors presented their report the other day. They checked the use of funds, allocated from the regional budget under the Waste Management subprogram. Today, the waste disposal industry is formed by 14 regional operators and 25 landfills. There are only five rubbish recycling plants that sort waste for the territory with three million residents.

This is clearly not enough for such a large territorial subject of the Russian Federation. The auditors of the Accounts Chamber also believe that the regional Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources is significantly under-performing. So, only nine measures have been actually implemented out of the 138 ones in the regional program for MSW management, planned for up to 2021.

The conflict between the regional government and one of the regional operators, RostTech, a company responsible for garbage disposal on the right bank of Krasnoyarsk, added fuel to the fire. The officials believe that the firm is not doing its job properly and stripped it of its status as a regional operator. Expectedly, RostTech does not want to give up profitable business. This business is specific and, moreover, “tailored for” Krasnoyarsk. That is why it appealed to the Arbitration Court of the Krasnoyarsk territory.

The officials told wek.ru that the findings of the authorities on the violation of the scheme of removal of solid municipal waste were the reason for the termination of the contract. According to them, the waste was not transported according to the agreed scheme and route. RostTech admits this fact, but says that it was not his fault. After all, back in 2020, the right-bank landfill, located behind the tire cemetery, closed. It is logical that RostTech had to take the waste to a completely different place. Accordingly, the claims of the regional government cause him only bewilderment.

Indeed, the mayor's office and government of the Krasnoyarsk territory have been in dispute with the operator of the landfill near the tire cemetery for several years. Wek.ru has already written about this situation. The lease agreement with the operator has expired. In addition, the landfill has long exhausted its resources. In the end, it managed to close it all the same. All garbage from Krasnoyarsk is being taken out of town to Avtospetsbaza. Many people believe that this controversial situation is a sign of the final result of the region's garbage reform failure, and no matter whether it is RostTech's fault or not. Scandals arise one after another. The supervisory authorities also have a complaint to Avtospetsbaza which is also suspected of dumping too much garbage. So, Krasnoyarsk simply does not have even one garbage dump which would not be under the threat of closure for violations, let alone any modern waste management.

“We are not trying to reinvent the wheel but there are certain limitations due to the peculiarities of the region. We have low population density and long distances. This makes recycling unprofitable. We are looking for mechanisms of incentives for recyclers. For now, we can only say that there was no reform. All the scandals confirm this,” said Alexei Kulesh, Chairman of the Committee for Housing, Utilities and Construction of the Krasnoyarsk Region Legislative Assembly.

The deputies of the Regional Council asked the regional government to update the regional program for waste management by autumn and to budget funds for construction of necessary waste management facilities in the regional budget for 2023 as well as to create real mechanisms which will help to attract private investors to the industry.

“So far, we have learned only how to collect waste and take it to landfills. We need to get secondary resources from them as much as possible and we do not have enough appropriate landfills. Sorting and recycling is where private investment is needed,” said Vitaly Drozdov, Chairman of the Committee on Ecology and Natural Resources of the Krasnoyarsk Territory Legislative Assembly.

“For the regional government it is difficult to obtain federal funds to build the necessary infrastructure to minimize waste disposal. In addition, the lack of transparency of this entire reform is mainly a reason for the failure. The minister publicly announces that five waste-sorting facilities have been built in the region in three years but this is only on paper. For example, there is one in Nazarovo, but, in fact, it has not been used for a long time and is generally rusty. The only working garbage sorting complexes in the region, located in Krasnoyarsk and Zelenogorsk, were built not within the framework of reform, but long before that, using business money. Now, it is necessary to divide tasks so that the Ministry of Industry and Ministry of Economy will be responsible for development of waste management industry, and Ministry of Ecology will be responsible only for environmentally safe waste management,” said Pavel Gudovsky, head of the Chamber of Krasnoyarsk Regional Environmental Organizations.

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