Moscow region will suffocate from stink from landfills

There is no other way out. The authorities of Moscow and the region did not solve the garbage issue for a long time, but now there is nowhere to take out solid household waste of more than 11 million tons.
In some cities of the Moscow region, a protest movement is developing against landfills. Their residents regularly go to rallies with demands to close nearby landfills and block the roads to them. Protest residents Klina, Kolomna, Troitsk, Ruza, Balashikha, Silver Ponds. And on March 21, Volokolamsk had to urgently visit the governor of the Moscow region, Andrei Vorobyov. On this day, 57 children were taken to the local hospital, which became ill from the suffocating smell from the Yadrovo testing range near the city. Dialogue did not work out - local residents pelted the governor with snowballs, and he hastily left.

Why is the city of Moscow suburbs covered by a wave of stench? How and when can this problem be solved?

Why did the protests begin?

The Moscow region is experiencing a colossal garbage load, says Alexander Kogan, the minister of ecology and nature management of the region: 20% of the country's waste is buried in the Moscow region. This is 7.92 million tons of solid household waste (MSW) from Moscow and 3.8 million tons from the region.

At the same time, 24 polygons have been closed in the region in a few years, the remaining part of the garbage is taken by the remaining 15. According to the regional Ministry of Ecology, their capacities will last for two years. Last year, the "Kuchino" training ground near Balashikha was closed on the personal commission of Russian President Vladimir Putin. During a direct line with him, the residents of Kuchin complained of constant fires in the dump and inaction of the authorities. But the authorities in recent years are engaged in that close the old landfill. This caused problems. All garbage had to be taken to the remaining 15 polygons. It is to the increased flow of garbage trucks and stench due to the colossal inflow of garbage and Moscow residents complain.

As a result, many thousands of meetings began to be held around the Moscow suburbs - in Volokolamsk, Klin, Kolomna, Troitsk, Ruza, Balashikha, Silver Ponds, etc. Residents protest not only against existing dumps, but also against the construction of new ones. Part of the polygons should be closed, but next to some of the remaining ones it is planned to open new ones, the capacity of which can be even greater. For example, the capacity of the Yadrovo testing ground in Volokolamsk, which the authorities promised to close, is 430,000 tons per year, but from 2020 the "modernized" Yadrovo test site will already receive 600,000 tons of waste.

 How is the market in the suburbs

"If we do not start building a new waste management infrastructure today, in a few years we will simply have nowhere to put the garbage," Kogan said last year. Why is it not possible?

The market in the Moscow region is not structured, there are no big players, and in the last five years there has never been a single development program in the region, says a businessman engaged in waste disposal. In 2010, there were about 1,000 landfills in the Moscow region, says PwC expert Dmitry Kolganov. Each municipal entity organized its own small dump, no one wanted to negotiate with anyone. Since then, the number of polygons seems to have decreased. But in reality there are a lot of small dumps, the market participants interviewed by Vedomosti say. And the majority, they said, is working hard. In the afternoon, officially 50 cars are accepted, and at night - 150 unofficially, one of Vedomosti's interlocutors tells.

In 2016, the inspectors of the Ministry stopped the illegal disposal of waste at 27 illegal landfills, and in 2017 - by 67, said the representative of the Ministry of Ecology of the Moscow region.

In the field of waste management in the region there are 300 companies, says a representative of the regional government. In fact, there are about 1000 of them, a person close to the regional authorities objects. As a rule, these companies operate within the same district: each municipality has some landfills and dumps, where everything falls. This, he said, was facilitated by the decision of Rosprirodnadzor to cancel licenses for garbage disposal. Now any HOA or the management company can take out the waste. "Most likely, such wastes are not sorted out beforehand: neither the useful fractions (plastic, glass, aluminum) nor the fractions of the 2nd and 3rd degree of danger - medical waste, batteries, mercury thermometers, lamps, etc." continues the interlocutor of "Vedomosti". There are no operators who would be responsible for the whole cycle of works related to the collection, export, sorting, processing, burial of garbage; many illegal dumps, says one of the businessmen.

 How to remove garbage in Moscow

In Moscow the situation is different. It is impossible to build landfills in the boundaries of the settlement, therefore Moscow waste is partially processed and rendered harmless in the capital enterprises, and partly exported to the landfills of other regions. There are three incinerators in Moscow; Totally they can burn less than 10% of garbage in the capital.

In 2012-2014 years. the mayoralty held nine tenders for the right to conclude 15-year contracts with an aggregate value of more than 142 billion rubles. Garbage from all districts, except for Southern and new Moscow, now take out and utilize five companies. Each operator before the end of 2018 has to create sorting points and polygons, where the sorted organics should go, says Igor Chaika, co-founder of one of the operator companies - Charter (working in the North-East and East districts). The presence of polygons, equipment, its sorting increases the profitability of the business, he points out. In 2017, his company purchased a range in the Vladimir region, a sorting facility on Altufevskoe highway, in addition, Moscow transferred to lease his company one of the incineration plants - MSZ-4. When developing state contracts, the authorities laid a profitability of 4-5%.

 What will the Moscow Region do?

The location of garbage landfills in the Moscow region is regulated by the territorial scheme for waste management. The document specifies where there should be garbage landfills, waste sorting and incineration plants. According to the scheme by the end of 2018 containers for separate collection of garbage should be equipped with half the inhabitants of the region. The system of separate collection assumes the installation of containers of two types - for dry (plastic, glass, paper and metal) and "wet" waste (food).

Last year, the reclamation of three closed landfills began in Kashira, Elektrostal and Pavlovsky Posad. Since 2019 the authorities are going to begin reclamation of seven more landfills.

The plans to build eight waste-processing enterprises. Five of them will appear near the existing testing grounds near Klin, Mozhaysk, Kolomna, Dmitrov and Volokolamsk, in order to reduce the load on them and to maximize waste disposal for recyclables.

 At the end of 2016, a structure for the construction of four incineration plants in the Moscow region was won by Rostekha-RT-invest (25.01% owned by Rostekh, and by 74.99% by Andrey Shipelov, the general director). Enterprises will not just burn garbage (700,000 tons per year each), but also generate electricity. Each plant will cost 31 billion rubles. They will pay off within 15 years due to the sale of electricity to industrial consumers in the region.

All these measures together with a separate collection will reduce the amount of buried waste by almost 10 times, the representative of the Ministry of Ecology of the Moscow Region hopes. But not everything is so simple.

 We collect separately, we take out together

In Moscow and the Moscow region is already an experiment on separate collection of garbage by residents. As of October last year, 953 collection points were established in Moscow. In the Moscow region last year, a pilot project was launched to separate waste collection in 13 municipalities - Balashikha, Podolsk, Shatura, Ozerah, Dolgoprudniy, Krasnogorsk, Solnechnogorsk, Khimki, Domodedovo, Ivanteyevka, Mytishchi, Dubna and Noginsk. But, for example, in Ivanteevka containers for various types of garbage are not installed by all houses, as Vedomosti's employee was convinced.

Separate collection of garbage in the Moscow region is now profanity, say one of the businessmen working in this industry and close to one of the Moscow prefectures man. There is no separate equipment for collecting different types of garbage, as a result, garbage collected in different containers falls into one garbage truck and goes to the same landfill, says one of Vedomosti's interlocutors. The second adds that people themselves do not share trash.

Department of Housing and Communal Services of Moscow in response to the query of "Vedomosti" indicated only that separate collection of garbage should be organized by operators. Does the city plan to completely switch to separate collection of waste and if so, when, in the answer of the department, it is not said. The governor of the Moscow region, Andrei Vorobyev, recently said that a separate collection of garbage should be introduced on the territory of the entire Moscow region - both Moscow and the region.

While the experiment is being introduced with difficulty. In Mytishchi separate collection of waste (food and all others) was introduced 10 years ago. But still up to 30% of residents do not sort the garbage, the representative of the Ministry of Ecology of the region points out. The output could be automated sorting, but before that it is necessary to separate food waste from solid waste. This principle is going to introduce separate garbage collection in the Moscow region. The fact is that according to sanitary norms only inorganic wastes are sorted.

Igor Chaika, co-founder of the Charter, proposes to create landfills in remote areas of neighboring regions, to make processing and sorting complexes there with a processing depth of up to 50%. And everything else he proposes to bury with the help of the so-called composting technologies: organic to compost, in order then to pour and recultivate the landfills.

 Residents versus factories and landfills

Residents of all districts in which the construction of incineration plants are planned, against - they do not consider plants to be safe and environmentally friendly. That is why the authorities near Moscow have had difficulty in finding and agreeing places for their placement: three years have passed since the signing of agreements with Rostekh and selection of sites.

 The construction of plants for RT Investments in the Moscow region will be conducted not by the most modern technology, says Kolganov, it is used in Europe, but not recognized as environmentally friendly in the UK, and in Singapore it was decided not to build such plants. The technology assumes the burning of mixed solid municipal waste on the grate - this leads to the formation of a large amount of ash residue. "It is likely that he will be the third class of danger (moderately hazardous waste, the ecological system is being restored about 10 years." - "Vedomosti") and for the burial of it, it may be necessary to build special ranges, - continues Kolganov. "At the same time, the energy produced will be more expensive than in the market, and in fact consumers will have to cover the costs of incineration plants."

In "RT-invest" they disagree with this. "Plants for the thermal recycling of waste into energy are part of an integrated waste management system in Russia that includes separate collection, sorting and processing of waste into secondary raw materials and energy," Shipelov objected. "Thus, only those waste that will not be recycled and are completely safe will enter the plant." According to him, the modern Carbon-8 system will be used to utilize the ash residue. "This is a way of processing fly ash into lightweight high-quality mineral-building material, which is recognized by the UN as an example of a significant contribution to the development of the cyclical economy," Shipelov points out.

The first Rostech plants will not be introduced until 2021. With a maximum load, they will be able to process about 2.8 million tonnes of waste. Taking into account the growing volumes, Rostech's plants will be able to burn about a fifth of the waste. What to do with the rest of the rubbish? "Have you wanted and closed all the polygons? It does not work out that way, "Kolganov points out. - The problem is that there will be no wasteless. We must understand that new landfills will still have to be opened. "

 How to recycle garbage in the world

There are several ways to utilize solid waste. In developing countries, garbage is transported to landfills. If in Russia at landfills 95% of wastes are buried, in Sweden - only 1%. Only 11% of the waste is taken to the landfills of Estonia.

The most common way to deal with garbage in Europe is incineration. For example, in the same Sweden, 50% of the waste after sorting is burned to generate energy. There are more than 30 incineration plants in the country. About a third of the waste in the EU is recycled. But for this it is necessary to introduce separate garbage collection in order to process recyclables. And organic waste can be collected separately and processed into compost. In the future it can be used including for reclamation of polygons.

Successful model of waste management Shipelov calls processing into secondary raw materials and thermal processing into electricity in the proportion of 50/50. Absolute leader, according to Shipelov, is Germany, which directed 66% of the waste for recycling and composting, the rest are recycled into electricity and only 1% went to landfills.

Will Russia help separate collection

In Russia, too, you need to introduce a separate collection of garbage, believe the former head of Rosprirodnadzor Oleg Mitvol and the head of the working group of the expert council of the Ministry of Ecology of the Moscow Region, Andrei Peshkov. After all, then there is no need to dispose of all the garbage in the landfills or burn it, Mitvol believes.

According to the Ministry of Environment of the Moscow region, the introduction of separate collection of waste will sort out up to 30% of waste by volume and up to 10% by weight.

But not all experts agree that the separate collection of garbage is a panacea. "In the West, this decision was made more than 25 years ago, when there were no alternative solutions. Now technologies for automated sorting of mixed solid municipal wastes are available, - commented Kolganov. - With separate collection, residents will be obliged not only to sort waste by type, but also to separate labels, wash containers. This will require the use of water, detergents. And calculations of additional consumption of the most valuable natural resource - water - were not carried out ".

Moscow is predominantly built up with high-rise buildings with small flats and small kitchens. "As for 5-6 square meters. to organize several containers for garbage? - asks Kalganov. - In addition, each type of garbage will be driven by different cars, that is, instead of one garbage truck, four will drive through the streets. This all must also be calculated, but no calculations were made. "

 There are no clear rules

According to the federal legislation, by the end of May, all regions should choose operators for handling garbage. The status of the regional operator is assigned for 10 years. Such competition was announced by Moscow authorities. The region will be divided into seven territorial zones, where there will be separate contractors. It is unlikely that the choice of regional operators will solve the problem with solid waste - we need clear rules for the market as a whole, according to market participants interviewed by Vedomosti. The branch of waste management is only being formed, the representative of the vice-premier Alexander Khloponin, Natalia Platonova, states. It is necessary to reduce the export of garbage to landfills, to stimulate demand for recyclable materials, to create a system for controlling the movement of waste, to build incinerators and so on.