Western sanctions that were imposed on Russia after the start of the special military operation in Ukraine have had an impact on garbage disposal as well. Within five years, Russian waste removal operators will have to completely replace 4,000 imported garbage trucks, since the supply of such vehicles, as well as spare parts for them, has been stopped.
The Russian Environmental Operator (REO) company, which oversees the garbage reform, cited data showing that 15,500 garbage trucks operate in our country, of which 6,100 are domestic KAMAZ trucks, 3,100 are MAZ trucks from Belarus, and 1,500 are GAZ trucks. Since 2017, companies have spent about 1.9 billion rubles ($31.17 mln) on imported garbage trucks, with RT-Invest, the largest waste operator in the Moscow region, over the past three years has purchased 700 vehicles, half of which are foreign-made. Their cost is about 6 million rubles ($98,430.)
A total of 120 garbage trucks of foreign companies have been purchased in the Astrakhan and Rostov regions since 2019. Most of the European equipment is in Moscow (54%) and the Moscow region (53%), Smolensk (39%), Kaluga and Belgorod regions (18% each). Waste removal vehicles were purchased from Germany (Mercedes), Sweden (Scania and Volvo), Japan (Isuzu) and Italy. These vehicles will be replaced by Belarusian, Chinese and Russian ones due to certain circumstances.
The average cost of such a garbage truck is 9.5 million rubles ($155,847.5,) and if a company updates the fleet by 2026, this purchase will cost 45 billion rubles ($738.23 mln.) However, at the same time, the number of garbage trucks will increase by 20% due to the fact that imported heavy trucks will be replaced by machines with lower carrying capacity. Accordingly, the number of drivers and mechanics will increase.
In Russia, such special vehicles are assembled at Mtsensk factory of municipal engineering, as well as at Arzamas plant of municipal engineering (2,000 special vehicles per year), at Ryazhsky automobile repair plant (2,200 per year), at Ekomtech (up to 500 cars), RG-Tekhno (450 pieces), Avtobau (180) and NTM (120).
Unfortunately, KAMAZ-based garbage trucks have increased in price by 15-20% since the beginning of 2022. It was caused by the limited supply of European parts for attachments. KAMAZ and MAZ chassis also became more expensive by 25%, although there is a tendency to lower prices.
Despite the fact that the maintenance of our garbage trucks and spare parts is many times cheaper, the operation of imported vehicles is still cheaper, because the KAMAZ lifetime is approximately 3 years, and the European vehicles last up to 10 years.
Notably, trash operators often leased vehicles at 10-12%, but after the increase of the Central Bank key rate to 20% the cost increased. However, the companies will no longer be able to pass the extra costs on to the customers, as the rates for waste disposal are regulated by the Federal Antimonopoly Service, so the prices cannot be increased by more than 5% per year.