At the Seminar for waste utilisation in St. Petersburg and Leningrad region

Posted: February 7, 2011 in Environmental Safety, Sustainable Development
Tags: , , , ,

This seminar organised by “St. Petersburg Recycling Association” occurred the other day. Heretofore I thought that this Association is a batch of ass-kissers (Eng), but I was wrong – they are just conformists (in presence of these in power they are posing respect to their opinion on the subject of waste management development, but when these in power are not around they speak more sincerely). There were three most interesting persons to me at the seminar: Vaisberg (Eng) (head of the Accociation and Mekhanobr Corporation), Hmirov (Eng) (head of the waste management department of St. Petersburg) and a deputy from Leningrad region whose name I wrote down but was unable to read it because I write a very bad hand. Here they are (sorry for the poor quality).

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From left to right: Vaiseberg, Hmirov and deputy in the pink shirt

I would like to share the main points of their speeches dedicated to waste problems in St. Petersburg and Leningrad region.

Hmirov:

  1. There is a need to develop legislation to make producers co-finance waste treatment.
  2. Waste treatment payments should be accumulated at municipal and regional level instead of management companies [it is interesting that hi said that payments should be accumulated in people’s not official’s hands – LOL, such a stupid hypocrisy].
  3. Municipal solid waste (MSW) have to be used as a power source [he is known for standing for waste to energy technologies]. And there is even some Swedish company already interested in buying RDF which would be produced after new waste plants will be constructed.
  4. Local folks have a “lack of understanding” [I’m citing] all the importance of the new “waste-processing complex” [ironical quotes] construction and are about to ruin (Eng) this project which is so useful for everyone.

Point #4 of Hmirov’s speech should be discussed further. There were over 2000 locals at the pubic discussion on the subject of “waste-processing complex” (Eng) (which is mostly a landfill Russian “landfill”) construction at Gladkoe settlement . Every single local voted against the project. Hmirov implied that the locals are stupid and selfish – both St. Petersburg and Leningrad region are in need of the new place for MSW. But when Hmirov have left the seminar he was mocked for the public discussion could pass far worse, because there were no schemas for the “landfill” at the discussion. Here you are examples of the “landfill” and the landfill (used in civilised countries).

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Typical Russian “landfill”
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Civilised landfill (source)

You do not need to know Russian to see the difference between a “landfill” and a landfill. In a “landfill” there are only natural barrier between waste and ground waters, no biogas collection, no adequate drainage system, etc. Frankly, there will be some kind of isolation between waste and ground at Gladkoe and even wells for ground water monitoring and drinage of some kind, but definitely, there won’t be any biogas collection (assessment of the environmental impact Rus).

I’ve read the environmental impact assessment – quite interesting… if you’re looking for luls. Among staled and unreferenced Yandex maps, used for illustration there and tons of other bullshit this document dedicated to make statements about acceptability of estimated environmental impacts. So estimated landfill filtrate leak to the ground water (from landfill and precipitation pool) of 50 cubic meters per day(!!!), i.e. 18 250 per year was found acceptable… ZOMFG!!! 0,00 cubic meters of this shit can be acceptable!!! This filtrate is the main landfill’s threat to the environment and the point is keep it away from water bodies! So 18 250 m3 is not fucking acceptable! Ok, leaks are almost inevitable, but 50 m3 per day for the project where 44% of budget is dedicated to environment protection is far too much.

Back to the seminar. The next speaker was the deputy in the pink shirt (who will have to pass through elections soon).

Deputy in the pink shirt:

  1. There is no junction to provide necessary transportation flow for new waste-plant at Janino settlement [place for another waste-treatment plant]. There are already terrible jams and if the wave of waste-trucks will be increased all the transportation between Vsevolozsk and St. Petersburg will just stuck.
  2. There are no presses at the waste-collection stations, so more trucks used than it could be.
  3. Nikol’sky, Ul’znovsky and Tosnenskiy districts of the Leningrad region already have the largest percentages of cancer amongst the population, so another source of the environmental impact (landfill at Gladkoe) is not desirable.
  4. It is better to build waste-treatment complex in place with the least population density, for example in Podporozskiy district of the Leningrad region. He used as an example an experience of Washington DC where all the collected waste is sent to California by train. [I wasn’t able to find a proof-link for such practice]

Hmirov commented point#4 of the deputy speech: railway company has its own classification of waste [O_o] and once such option was considered: transportation costs were calculated at level of 2800 rubles (70 euro) per ton; but the destination was Appatity – town at Murmanskaya region.

I don’t know why they wanted to move waste that far, but transportation inside the borders of Leningrad region will take at least 3 times less time so costs would not exceed 900 rubles (22,5 euro) per ton. It should be mentioned that expenditures for overall waste management in EU was about 26,73 euro per ton in 2006 (Anda et al., 2010 – Eurostat).

Speech of Viseberg wasn’t interesting at all (he promoted technologies of the Recicling Association members), except he underlined issue of medical waste presence in MSW, but there were no proposals how to solve it; and separate waste collection – bins for separated waste are too small to produce profit for the transportation companies.

Conclusions.

Seems that they are trying to solve the problems without any plan! So I know for sure the strategy for waste management for St. Petersnurg and Leningrad region was developed twice in past 10 years. So they have to reread it or to redevelop it to have in mind every aspect of the waste management and develop them simultaneously to achieve to goals of environmental impacts minimisation.

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