Siberia Processes Waste into Protest

Siberia Processes Waste into Protest

Photo: http://tass.ru

An investor intends to build a waste incineration plant near the village of Kubekovo almost in the suburbs of Krasnoyarsk. People disagree with its plans. The project has the name of Volchya Griva (Wolf’s Collar). Originally, it was an industrial estate to dispose of, process, place, and neutralise industrial and consumer waste. It was built back in 2017 and registered in the governmental register. Then it was mothballed. Currently, its owners intend to amend the technical documents including a plant into it.

An investor intends to build a waste incineration plant near the village of Kubekovo almost in the suburbs of Krasnoyarsk. People disagree with its plans. The project has the name of Volchya Griva (Wolf’s Collar). Originally, it was an industrial estate to dispose of, process, place, and neutralise industrial and consumer waste. It was built back in 2017 and registered in the governmental register. Then it was mothballed. Currently, its owners intend to amend the technical documents including a plant into it. At the end of November, the administration of Yemelyanovo District of Krasnoyarsk Territory which territory includes the industrial site should have held a public hearing concerning the plant. However, it was not possible to organise a comprehensive hearing of the project although it became clear that the ordinary public were dead against the construction. The businesspersons who manage the project own two more landfill sites in Krasnoyarsk. The supervisory bodies have a lot of objections concerning their condition. “We know this operator as a disreputable one. Back in 2016, an order was issued to begin land restoration concerning the landfill site at Shinniki. Now they are making fool of the municipal administration. In the last two years, they were caught dumping solid waste there six times,” the social activist Natalya Podolyak said. Activists submitted an application to the district administration to hold a rally at Yemelyanovo on 15 December. During the event, people spoke against placing the Volchya Griva. The issue of waste is quite burning today. Probably, due to this reason, the United Russia began to follow the situation. Although it limits itself to quite vague statements. “The issue should be discussed with the residents of Yemelyanovo District and Krasnoyarsk broadly and openly to the maximum. Their opinion should play the key role. It is very important to engage professional experts and independent environmentalists. It will be possible to discuss appearance of this facility only when the professionals as well as people agree to it upon satisfying themselves as to its environmental security. We are aware of existence of the owners of landfill sites who try to avoid discharging the obligations while incurring expenses in relation to compliance with the waste reform. Therefore, we will pose these questions decidedly to the administration which numerous representatives are the party members,” the secretary of Krasnoyarsk Regional Office of the United Russia Alexey Dodatko stated. The reasons for the protest are numerous. Krasnoyarsk and its suburbs represent a complicated region as to environment in any case. As to the wind diagram, the village of Kubekovo is located in the tail of emissions of Krasnoyarsk aluminium smelter. If waste incineration is added to them, it will be impossible to live there. In the recent years, Kubekovo has already been surrounded by numerous industrial bases, asphalt mixing plants, and warehouses. The people are also worried that waste will be brought to the plant for disposal not only from Krasnoyarsk but also from all the territory and maybe from outside the territory. The professional note that solid waste incineration is a step back. For numerous countries, waste recycling has long become a significant income item. Some countries purposefully buy it from other countries. However, it cannot be cost-effective in Krasnoyarsk due to some reasons. Previously, two waste recycling plants opened in the city. Both went bankrupt and closed down in the end. “Time and again, what is put in a waste incinerator can be a valuable material to produce new products. And the value of such raw materials is so high sometimes that it becomes the reason for serious competition. Collection of recyclables is economically advantageous to the country’s industry; it is import substitution actually. Plastics made of Norwegian gas can easily become a desk or a pull-up bar at a rural Russian school. Recyclables are cheaper, and the quality is often the same as the original one. Successful examples of organising a highly profitable business on the basis of separate collection and further recycling of waste are available in Russia. Tens of plants process recyclable paper, glass, and plastic products,” the Director of the Institute of Environment and Geography of the Siberian Federal University Ruslan Sharafutdinov commented to wek.ru. “Today event waste sorting seems to be sophisticated production against the background of rapid simplification of the entire industry of waste management where simple and clear schemes with a short planning horizon prevail. You can recollect how long the waste reform was prepared and in what it resulted. The waste reform on the country-wide scale was reduced to trivial repartition of the existing market and an increase in the waste collection rates. The currently promoted comprehensive solution of “collecting and incinerating everything” is further simplification of operation of the entire solid waste management industry where separate collection and disposal are sacrificed to the quick and clear process of constructing waste incineration plants. In the established paradigm, any waste sorting plants look like a coarse prefilter in the path of waste from the bin to the incinerator, i.e. which does not require maintenance and can be easily disregarded to the glory of the “purgative” fire,” the Krasnoyarsk environment activist Alexander Kolotov stated to wek.ru.

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