Krasnodar, 12 December – Yug Times. Presently, there are about a thousand dustbins for segregated waste collection in Krasnodar. Over a thousand such containers are placed in Sochi, where the waste recycling culture is developing much more successfully than in Krasnodar. As for the other Kuban municipalities, it looks like their dwellers would not mind giving household plastic, glass, metals and paper for recycling, but they do not know where to put them so they continue throwing all together into conventional bins.
However strange it may seem, the main driving force of segregated waste collection worldwide is big business which releases its output in plastic, glass or other packages. It was the world’s biggest producers of beverages, chocolate and cigarettes that initiated the movement in support of recycling and reuse of packaging. The motivation was their reputation.
However, if such large corporations as Coca Cola, Pepsi, Nestlé and others hold regular actions aimed at collection of different wastes and popularisation of segregated waste collection, population of big cities, Krasnodar included, very rarely have a chance to throw plastic into a plastic bin, glass into a glass bin, and paper into a paper bin. Another important issue is collection of dangerous household wastes - mercury thermometers or batteries - for special recycling.
Regional operators of solid household waste either have been or are going to be legally established in every Russian region. These operators should be held liable for prompt waste disposal and processing. But environmentalists assert that so far chaos reigns in this sphere. “First, an operator is oriented at the tariff which is approved for a certain total volume of solid household waste,” Lubov Melanevskaya, executive director of ‘Industry for Ecology’ Association, explains. “It does not have any economic motivation to divide the waste into fractions, because by doing so it would decrease the total volume of solid household waste and, consequently, its profits according to the said tariff. Another problem is that the profits gained from waste disposal into recycling are deducted from the tariff, which even more strips the operators of motivation to practise segregated waste collection.”
Since 1 January 2019, the following four types of rubbish - glass, plastic, paper, and iron - are legally forbidden to be dumped in the ground, which is why some regional household waste operators are themselves initiating segregated waste collection and its further disposal for recycling. However, this initiative is not without problems, either.
Yevgeni Doroshenko from the Refuse Collection Company explains: “We sort waste fractions at our landfill site in Kopanskoi [near Krasnodar]. We have presses to turn the waste into material ready to be processed, but the problem is that there are no companies engaged in the recycling of waste, which is why it is being stockpiled at the landfill until better days.”
One more problem is that even plastic refuse can be of many different kinds, some of which may not be recycled.
Nonetheless, environmentalists state that the number of segregated waste collection sites in Krasnodar has been growing over the past two years. They say that three months after the installation of separate bins for different kinds of waste, they being to be filled up with relatively clean waste that can be recycled rather than burnt or dumped at the landfill.