Will pay all
Global warming does not threaten Russia as much as most other countries. But we may well be the first to suffocate from our own waste. Millions of tons of garbage are spreading across the country worse than cockroaches in an old communal apartment, and the good intentions with which the projects "Ecology" and "Pure Russia" were once adopted, as well as a large-scale reform, will certainly lead us not to heaven.
The waste management reform, the so-called garbage reform, launched only in 2019, was decided to be promptly checked in the Accounts Chamber, which, according to its status, is primarily supposed to monitor the spending of budget funds. With this, things are not very good, but about money - a little below.
The conclusions of the RF JV auditors regarding the general situation with landfills, waste and their processing in the country as a whole turned out to be much more sad.
The report of the RF JV immediately notes that the beginning of the reform implementation practically did not change the situation with waste in Russia, which remains extremely unfavorable. As before, more than 90% of garbage is sent to landfills and landfills, no more than 7% of waste gets under any real recycling.
It seems that the COVID-19 pandemic and the strict quarantine measures taken because of it can serve as an excuse for the executors of the reform, the main of which is the Ministry of Natural Resources. But in this case, we can also remember that the implementation of the waste management reform in the country began a little over a year ago.
As you know, first of all, the federal project "Integrated MSW Management System", which has been in effect since 2019, was audited by auditors. He was supposed to solve the garbage problem on a national scale, but "if it is implemented at the same pace as now, Russia will definitely be inundated with garbage in about 25-30 years."
This quote is no longer from the materials of the JV RF, but from comments to them from leading ecologists (starting with Academician Danilov-Danilyan). The project involves the creation of a high-tech infrastructure for waste processing and disposal, but without specific terms and volumes of processing.
Although it has already been calculated that for each person in Russia, 450 kg of waste is generated annually (this is the data of 2019). In total, this is 650 million tons, but not only waste, but also quite valuable raw materials, for the processing of which and further sale in the form of metal, wood raw materials, fiberglass, plastic in various types, fuel, capacities are needed. Manufacturing.
It cannot be ruled out that in 2020 the indicator will even decrease simply due to a decrease in the general vital activity of the population due to the coronavirus. But then there will definitely be more. And it is necessary to proceed from the growing numbers when drawing up national projects, when developing reforms. And for recycling, no less than 50% of the waste should be planned.
Landfill to landfill
Landfills and even closed landfills, which are very numerous, continue to harm nature, poisoning the air, water and soil. So far, neither the measures taken in many regions to stimulate waste sorting, nor the attempt to shift garbage problems onto the shoulders of other regions by evacuating there thousands of tons of "their" garbage, have not yielded real results.
The same thing, to recall the Soviet experience of collecting scrap metal, glass containers and waste paper, is still out of the question. So far, the reform is reduced, in fact, to "additional taxation of the population with garbage collection, as well as a showy demonstration of cleanliness in Moscow, regional capitals and places of traditional significant gatherings of the public." Simply put, for show.
The auditors of the Accounting Chamber did not accuse the executors of inappropriate and even ineffective use of the funds allocated for the reform. They paid special attention to the fact that the project, which seemed to be so necessary for the country, stalled at the start.
But oddly enough, the employees of the control department did not limit themselves to stating this, believing that it was necessary to revise the key parameters of the project. And to start by providing some kind of preventive measures that will help prevent and reduce waste generation.
Rosprirodnadzor calculated that when the implementation of the national project "Ecology" began, 8323 legal landfills were registered in the regions, of which 916 were located in urban districts. How many illegal discharge points, large and not very, were then across the country, hardly anyone could count. But the fact that there have been many more of them since then is for sure.
But the official dumps and landfills seem to have become much smaller. Now in Russia there are 2832 landfills, of which less than half are included in the register. Decreased by almost three times. For reporting to officials - an indicator anywhere, but has it really become cleaner in Russia? There are very big doubts.
Only now specialists from the same Rosprirodnadzor have managed to count more than 27 thousand unauthorized dumps in Russia. At the same time, the Accounts Chamber reported that in 19 regions municipal waste collection operators threaten to stop working due to low collection of payments from the population.
If people understood why they want to take money from them, they would give it back. With the fees for overhaul, at the very least, we managed to fix something, and even now quite a lot is actually being repaired.
It should be noted in this regard that the current system of direct taxes from the population, by definition, cannot stimulate anyone or anything. But how, then, in the near future, can we do without encouraging citizens not only to use reusable goods, containers and packaging, but also to actively participate in measures for the separate collection of waste?
The relevant department, the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation, has already rushed to respond to the criticism of auditors. And there, almost the first thing they emphasized was that some regional operators are in a difficult position due to the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, the ministry said that the situation with the processing of solid municipal solid waste (or solid waste, whoever likes it more) is under their constant control.
That is, officials keep their finger on the pulse, although the amount of waste, which we still cannot handle at the federal or regional level, continues to grow. As you can see, the Russian reformers are again not thankful.
Polygons of life
How justified is the approach to removing landfills from cities is not for us to judge. In any case, under the Clean Country project, the task was set to liquidate and reclaim only 191 landfills. This is out of almost three thousand in the country. But it is hardly realistic to eliminate all landfills within the boundaries of cities, even with the full success of both the national project and the big waste reform.
Most of all garbage is generated, of course, by the capital. But she at least has the means to either "evacuate" the garbage, although not everyone is ready to accept it, or burn it, or even recycle it. But what about those poor regions in which there is already a critical situation with places for garbage disposal?
And this is the Magadan Region and Buryatia, the Trans-Baikal Territory, Sakhalin and the Jewish Autonomous Region. According to the JV RF, “the residual capacity of landfills in these constituent entities of the Federation was exhausted at the beginning of 2019”.
The auditors' report also says that “the situation with the official landfills is also close to critical. At the current rate of growth in the volume of solid municipal waste (1–2% per year) in 32 regions, their capacity will be exhausted by 2024, and in 17 of them - by 2022. At the same time, most regions simply do not have the opportunity to create new landfills. "
The Ministry of Natural Resources managed to allocate more than 8 billion rubles for the work of regional operators for handling MSW through direct agreements with 65 regions of Russia. But in order to cope with 650 million tons of waste, completely different amounts are needed.
A more or less acceptable “approach to waste” assumes that the average cost of bringing garbage to a state where the harm from it is reduced to a reasonable minimum is now 500-600 rubles per ton. Hence the conclusion: at least 300 billion rubles are needed right now for the garbage reform. And this is without taking into account the construction of new processing facilities and the reclamation of closed landfills.
The official does not sleep
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Natural Resources is busy with business: for example, finding out the needs of the regions in containers for separate collection of waste. The ministry recalled that the government has determined the rules for granting subsidies for the purchase of containers. For this purpose, funds have been reserved for environmental fees for 2020 in the amount of 1 billion rubles.
The federal scheme for MSW management should determine the existing and planned capacities of disposal facilities, agreed with all constituent entities of the Russian Federation. In total, within the framework of the federal scheme, it is planned to build 585 objects by 2024 with a total capacity of about 65 thousand tons, the ministry noted. This is with our 650 million tons of garbage every year!
Few people today need to prove that the pension reform has turned into zilch, but there is at least some progress for the better: you can add something to your seniority, and next year someone will be able to retire a year or even two earlier ...
It would be better, of course, with reference to the pandemic and again growing unemployment, to cancel everything altogether, but this certainly does not work in modern Russia. The authorities almost never admit their miscalculations. By all accounts, the situation with the garbage reform is even worse than with the pension reform. Money from citizens arrives regularly, but garbage from this does not decrease.
But on this reform there are already proposals to take and cancel not from anyone, but from the legislators themselves. Although not from the ruling United Russia party. However, Fair Russia, whose leader, Sergei Mironov, is convinced that it would be better to start the struggle for a pure Russia from scratch, is not easy to call real opposition. Nevertheless, the signal is important.
“The main thing is that we need federal funds, where it will be possible with the involvement of private investors to create powerful complexes for waste processing in the next two years,” Mironov believes.
Initially, there will be one or two such complexes per subject of the Federation, but this will already be a step towards creating a modern infrastructure for MSW management.
According to the parliamentarian, the population should be
generally exempted from garbage collection fees. Recycling is a highly profitable business that must ultimately finance itself.
And the environmental department continues to broadcast to us that the ministry "constantly interacts with the regions to promptly resolve emerging issues, provides support in terms of waste management, including taking emergency measures." Only the time would not come when no emergency measures will help!