Krasnoyarsk Garbage Problem

Krasnoyarsk Garbage Problem


A criminal case was initiated against one of the two large Krasnoyarsk landfill operators. The company was suspended. The second operator is still in business, but there are similar claims against it.

The Krasnoyarsk Territory Prosecutor's Office reported that the Krasnoyarsk landfill in the Shinnikov micro-district had problems with the law. It turned out that the garbage had been dumped there illegally for a long time. The actual volume of the buried waste of Krasnoyarsk went beyond the limits by 2 mln m³.

“Landfill overuse and the refusal to carry out biological reclamation of the land plot made it impossible to form a soil cover and restore its functions,” the watchdog agency said.

The landfill operator contaminated almost 70 ha of land with copper, nickel, petroleum products, and other chemicals. The pollutants exceeded the norm dozens of times. The prosecutor's office sent the inspection materials to the investigating authorities. The Criminal Investigation Department of Krasnoyarsk Territory and Khakassia initiated criminal proceedings over violation of the rules of handling hazardous substances and waste. Moreover, the Prosecutor`s Office intends to fine the leaseholder of the site 154 mln rubles ($2.1 mln).

The Ecoresurs company is in charge of the landfill lease according to the contract. Earlier, the city administration tried to stop this company’s activities through legal action. It is not only about exceeding the volume of solid waste. The contract for the land plot with Ecoresurs terminated last summer. At first, the arbitration sided with the firm but in July the Third Arbitration Court ordered Ecoresurs to stop using the landfill and start reclamation.

“The landfill is within the city area. One can turn a deaf ear to the situation and shift the problem to future generations but that position is not for me. I have a mission, and I have to do everything I can to make sure this landfill will not exist in the future. We are okay with the court ruling,” said Krasnoyarsk Mayor Sergey Eremin. However, to all appearances, Ecoresours ignored this decision, until the prosecutor's office interfered.

“In 1998, the company obtained a positive conclusion of the state ecological panel on the design solution for an area of about 20 ha. Today, the waste is placed on an area many times larger. An inventory of this plot was made but without appropriate equipment. The company didn't increase the capacity of the landfill, so it operates illegally,” said Sergei Shakhmatov, deputy of the Krasnoyarsk Territory Legislative Assembly and head of the local branch of the Green Party.

The scandalous landfill is located on the right bank of Krasnoyarsk. Rosttekh, a regional operator, is responsible for garbage disposal in this area. Ecoresurs and this company are controlled by the same person, Krasnoyarsk businessman Evgeny Shepelev. He is unofficially called “Garbage King of Krasnoyarsk.” It becomes clear why Shepelev tried to delay closing the landfill near Shinnikov by all means. Now, he has to transport the waste to the Avtospetsbaza landfill. It is located on the other bank of Yenisei about 10 km from the city in the area of Startsevo village. Accordingly, there will be extra transport costs and unwelcome control because the Avtospetsbaza is in regional ownership.

The situation is aggravated by the fact that the supervisory authorities also have claims to Avtospetsbaza. The prosecutor's office stated at the end of last year that it suspected that the dump site contained more trash than declared. According to environmentalist Pavel Gudovsky, Chairman of the Chamber of Environmental Organizations of the Krasnoyarsk Territory Civil Assembly, public activists have long pointed out gross violations in the operation of the facility. However, the authorities turn a blind eye to this fact, since the enterprise is in the ownership of the Krasnoyarsk Territory and Krasnoyarsk has no other alternatives. Under these conditions, when even a simple question of where to take the garbage from the regional center is not solved, thinking about such things as sorting and processing solid waste does not seem possible at all.

“Certain technological zones of the territory remain unattractive for business. The operation of a regional enterprise is the only option so far. The landfill of the joint-stock company Avtospetsbaza is the only operating solid municipal waste disposal facility in the Krasnoyarsk agglomeration. No other waste management facilities have been constructed with state participation, and no program measures for their construction are planned,” said the regional Legislative Assembly.

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