''30% of useful resources can be extracted from garbage in Kazan. But it is unrealistic to do''

Garbage reform has stalled: separate collection turned out to be useless, regional operators only collect money, opponents of the incinerator plant want to go to San Francisco

''30% of useful resources can be extracted from garbage in Kazan. But it is unrealistic to do'' Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

''The level of protest activity due to the garbage reform is higher than due to the pension reform,'' Deputy of the State Council from the Communist Party Artem Prokofiev noted in the regional parliament at a round table discussion of the corresponding subject. The composition of the meeting was considering — social activists, government officials, and not only of Tatarstan but also neighbouring Chuvashia. Only ''the heroes of the occasion'' did not come — regional MSW collection operators. ''This is an indicator of their attitude, but we won't put up with it,'' Prokofyev threatened them. The problems raised at the round table discussion can be divided into three blocks — related to the unfair charge for MSW removal, the lack of separate waste collection and the upcoming construction of the incinerator plant. Read the details in the report of Realnoe Vremya.

How is the charge for the removal and disposal of MSW calculated?

What has changed for the citizens of Russia after the garbage reform? The regional operators have entered the market, but nothing has changed except the increased tariffs — these are the conclusions of the round table discussion's participants.

''When garbage removal was a housing service, residents could set the tariff. Now the service has been included in the communal services and people have lost the right to dispose of their own waste. The volume of garbage has not increased, but the prices have,'' Irina Volkova, a member of the coordinating council of public organizations of the Volga Federal District on housing and communal services, described the effects of the garbage reform.

Deputy Minister of Construction, Architecture and Housing of Tatarstan Ildus Nasyrov said that Tatarstan until recently protracted with the transition to the new system of solid waste management: ''We have approved the tariff that is two times lower than requested by regional operators.''

How the tariff for MSW removal is calculated was explained by Deputy Chairman of the State Committee on Tariffs of Tatarstan Lilia Borisova. Earlier, the management company or homeowners association entered into contracts for the removal and disposal independently, and tariffs were different: somewhere it was 200 rubles per cubic metre, somewhere it was 500. Now Tatarstan has the uniform tariff — 369 rubles per cubic metre.

''70 per cent of the costs in the tariff are the costs of the carrier. This is a very large layer, and I would like to appeal to deputies, the carriers should also be regulated. Because today regional operators will also enter into contracts with them,'' asked Borisova.

70 per cent of the costs in the tariff are the costs of the carrier, Borisova explained. Photo: kt.tatarstan.ru

In addition to the tariff, there is the regulation for waste generation. In Tatarstan, it is 1,96 cubic metres a person a year. Before the garbage reform, the rate was 1-1,2 cubic metres a person. Why has it been raised if the yards have been provided with the wire meshes to collect plastic and the amount of accumulated waste is reduced? Why do we need the standard if the fee for utilities is charged according to actual consumption? These questions concern public people, and they ask to amend the federal law.

How regional operators operate: big profits and minimum liability

Experts of the round table discussion believe that the garbage reform requires improvement and the regional operators, despite the fact that all the money goes to them, have too little responsibility. Specialist of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources Rustem Bogdanov told about the shortcomings of the law. Regional operators are not required to create container yards — this should be done by management companies, in public places — by local government.

''The regional operator is not obliged to work with batteries and mercury lamps — it is also the fault of the legislator. The federal authorities want to assign these functions to Rosatom. It has long been discussed, but so far no progress has been made,'' said Bogdanov.

By the way, recently Tatarstan and Duracell have signed an agreement on the accumulation and disposal of batteries, according to which 2,300 facilities of separate accumulation and collection of used batteries and accumulators are to appear in the republic.

In Kazan there is no demand for recyclables — so there is no point in separate collection

Deputy Head of the Executive Committee of Kazan Iskander Giniyatullin complained that with all the desire it is impossible today to collect separately and recycle garbage in Kazan.

''The big challenge is to develop the processing industry. Now it is possible to extract up to 30 per cent of useful resources from the garbage collected in Kazan, but it is unrealistic to do it because of the lack of demand for recyclables. State support is needed here. I was assured that the ministry of industry and trade is preparing a federal programme of state subsidies to enterprises in the field of recycling,'' said Giniyatullin.

Now in Kazan in 400 out of 12,000 containers have dual garbage collection on the principle of dry and wet. Giniyatullin assured that this waste ''is not dropped in the same vehicle.'' He also said that the regional operator must build a sorting station, now the place is being under consideration.

Iskander Giniyatullin complained that with all desire it is impossible today to collect separately and to process garbage in Kazan. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

Opponents of the incinerator: ''In 2022, 94 per cent of the collected garbage will be burned''

Again it came to the incinerator plant, which is planned to be built in Osinovo. The opponents reminded about their arguments: the plant in Tatarstan can not be safe because there is no system of separate waste collection in the republic, like in Japan or Europe, and all the waste will go to the furnace.

''The draft territorial scheme of waste management says that in 2022 94 per cent of the collected garbage will be burned. That is, we will not have any separate collection, it is a fiction!'' says Elena Izotova, an ecologist and representative of the movement against the incinerator.

According to Tatyana Lyadova, the chairman of the presidium of Tatarstan branch of the All-Russian Nature Protection Society, Kazan does not need a waste incineration plant — the city's population will not grow at such a pace to load the plant to the required capacity, and it will have to not only burn 100 per cent of the waste, but also bring it from other cities.

''After burning in incinerators there remains slag – it is 30 per cent of the volume of waste. We want to build a plant for 28 billion and a landfill for slag for 3 million tonnes. Does the ministry of construction knows that the garbage can be pressed — and the output will be about the same? The volume is reduced by 10 times while burning and 8 times during the pressing,'' said activist Vera Kerpel.

''We ask you to organize an excursion to San Francisco!''

She reminded that earlier Rustam Minnikhanov has offered an alternative version of the waste processing plant. On this technology they work under Detroit (the US). Minnikhanov instructed the head of the ministry of construction to go to the USA to find out everything on the spot.

''But everyone knows that in the US the leader in processing is San Francisco, where 85 per cent is processed. And we ask you to arrange a trip to San Francisco!'' Kerpel exclaimed.

''Let's form a team and go to San Francisco!'' leader of the Tatarstan branch of the Communist Party Khafiz Mirgalimov supported her.

''Let's form a team and go to San Francisco!'' leader of the Tatarstan branch of the Communist Party Khafiz Mirgalimov supported her. Photo: tat-kprf.ru

''There are only plans! They are asking to go on a business trip in the US, garbage collection has not been developed, but teh yare already collecting money,'' the audience expressed discontent. ''We need to use the experience of Peter I, and not to send a delegation to America, but to invite one specialist. Invite Germans who will tell where and what plants on garbage to build!''

Not having decided what experience — American, German or Japanese — to follow, and physically not having time to listen to everyone, its organizers decided to orginize another round table discussion on the garbage problem in the spring. And to bring there (if they don't want voluntarily) those to whom they have questions the most — regional operators.

By Daria Turtseva