Kazan mayor: ‘We don’t have that much land to spawn these landfills’

The citizens are urged to sort waste, while reverse vending machines will help with it — they will offer citizens of Kazan discounts on utility bills or transport

Kazan mayor: ‘We don’t have that much land to spawn these landfills’
Photo: kzn.ru

About 3,000 reverse vending machines, which will help teach the citizens to collect waste separately because they will be offered bonuses, will be placed in the Tatarstan capital soon. Almost 80% of houses in Kazan have switched to separate waste collection, it was said at Business Monday in the city administration on 2 December. It is necessary to build 492 sites with containers in the city in the short run. As Realnoe Vremya learnt at the meeting, technoparks with automated waste sorting and recycling will appear in the country by 2023. For this purpose, the regional operator will have to look for investors, while the urban authorities — to inform the population, equip and improve sites for waste.

Culture of disposal through reverse vending machines

The work on separate waste collection, which will allow impeding municipal solid waste landfills from becoming full quickly, has been actively done in the last six months, it was explained at the meeting in the city administration.

“We began with the landfill on Khimicheskaya Street, cut the ribbon. The issue of waste dumping was resolved for 25 years. After that, Vostochny landfill was built, and it is full. We don’t have that much land to spawn these landfills,” Mayor of Kazan Ilsur Metshin raised the problem.

80% of blocks of flats in the Tatarstan capital have had containers for separate waste collection with information in two languages. According to the plan for improving the sites with containers considering the blocks that refuse garbage chutes, it is necessary to build 492 sites, vice head of the Executive Committee of Kazan Iskander Giniyatullin said. Another 70 sites of this kind will appear in the city by the end of the year with the project Our Yard. And next year it is planned to improve 132 sites for dual waste collection in yards. Almost 2,000 sites for waste are to appear in Kazan by 2022.

Moreover, Iskander Giniyatullin said that the second cell of the MSW landfill on Khimicheskaya Street in Moscow District was put into operation, which will enable to accept waste for another 3,5-4 years, and the second cell on Vostochny landfill is being built. One part of the work is to announce and organise separate waste collection, the other part, which is more complicated, is to inculcate waste disposal culture. Reverse vending machines were tasked with it partially — it is devices that accept beverage containers in stores and in city streets. About 3,000 devices will appear in Kazan.

Reverse vending machines were tasked with it partially — it is devices that accept beverage containers in stores and in city streets. Photo: evening-kazan.ru

“Mega is a case in point. In exchange of accepted plastic, glass bottles and cans, people are given coins to buy beverages from cafes of the shopping mall. It is the beginning that will play its role,” the vice head of the Executive Committee of Kazan claimed.

According to him, the project is to be launched on the federal scale. The Kazan authorities tasked with preparing an offer to place reverse vending machines in more visited places in the city so that it will be convenient for the citizens to use. The bonuses that the Kazan citizens will start to receive are under discussion now. Probably it will be a reward for transport cards, discounts on utility bills. As Iskander Giniyatullin said, the work is full steam. New vending machines in public places in Kazan will appear in December already.

Eco-education starts in kindergarten

Besides, Kazan became a site for projects about big ecological companies’ ecological problems. Coca-Cola set up 100 bins for plastic collection in the Tatarstan capital and will place 300 bins. A lecture room will open in Gorkinsko-Ometyevo Forest, an exhibition of products made of recycled materials will be created, particularly street furniture from recycled wastes will appear. Duracell organised collection of used batteries. Containers for them were placed in the city’s schools, all big shopping centres, the ministries of ecology and construction, architecture, housing and utilities of Tatarstan. This year over 24,000 tonnes of old batteries have been collected in Tatarstan, more than 10 tonnes of them were disposed of by Kazan schoolchildren. Third-grader from Lyceum No. 121 Amir Valeyev gave 180 kg of batteries for recycling and got a smartphone as an award. Kazan preschool children, schoolchildren and other educational institutions where ecological classes and events take place are taught to wisely collect waste.

“The president of the country sets a task — to recycle up to 60% of waste. Converted to our volumes, it is 1,000 tonnes of recyclable materials a day. Right now we are far from such indicators, which means that we should prepare to recycle such materials. Modern sorting and recycling complexes are needed to perform the tasks of Ecology national project, minimise landfills and the circulation of recycled materials. We can’t allow filling landfills with waste. It is a luxury nowadays,” Iskander Giniyatullin claimed and urged heads of local administrations, service providers to control the state of sites with containers.

“We can’t allow filling landfills with waste. It is a luxury nowadays,” Iskander Giniyatullin claimed. Photo: kzn.ru

It is considered to create technoparks with automated sorting, integrated recycling of wastes, which are to appear by 2023, to minimise landfills. The speaker noted that the regional operator should actively work in this area, attract possible investors.

Dustcarts should dispose of different wastes separately

The administration of Kazan hasn’t yet found a solution to how to sort waste in different containers in the blocks of flats that didn’t refuse garbage chutes, while they total about 400 — a big part of blocks are in Novo-Savinovsky and Privolzhsky District. Waste from there is sorted at a special station.

“What’s the idea? Unsorted waste must be directly taken to the landfill for easier logistics and cheaper costs. But not all citizens who have new containers are ready for separate waste collection. This is why waste from different containers anyway go to additional sorting without being mixed up,” the vice head of the Executive Committee explained.

He noted that they had received just three signals from citizens about violations in the last six months of work when they began to actively deal with separate waste collection. Every type of waste must be loaded separately.

“It can one car, but then it should come twice. For instance, it collects waste from the container with a yellow sticker first, then it comes back and collects waste from the container with a grey sticker. If citizens of Kazan noticed a violation of rules, they should turn to the city administration, name the address and date. Computers register if these dustcarts belong to Clean City, the move of cars. We will process your information,” Iskander Giniyatullin promised.

“Not all citizens who have new containers are ready for separate waste collection. This is why waste from different containers anyway go to additional sorting without being mixed up,” the vice head of the Executive Committee explained. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

“We live on oxygen on loan”

According to the mayor of Kazan, the process of collection, disposal of communal waste falls on the regional operator according to federal legislation, “however, we can’t cross this out of our duties. We’ve been working in this area for decades. We’ve studied the world’s best experiences, it was never easy. Apart from human resources, the mentality of our people is the biggest challenge. The hardest thing is to change our habits”.

The head of the country asked representatives of the mass media, kindergarten, school and university teachers for help, he asked them to pay attention to eco-education.

“We live on oxygen on loan and the clean air of our future generations,” the city mayor gave the message that was mentioned at one of the seminars of the Russian president’s administration as evidence. “Our task is to pass as clean as possible ecology to next generations, technologies allow it.”

Ilsur Metshin explained that the first stage of the programme on separate waste collection was underway. Together with other regions, Tatarstan is implementing a pilot project. “It is the case when our systematic work is linked with the national project. We must create such an ecosystem so that everybody in the same boat shared the responsibility of today and tomorrow’s ecology.”

“It is not we who regulate tariffs, but our responsibilities are a priority. Probably there aren’t easy programmes, while this is one of the hardest ones. After our nine years of systematic work, after the Universiade, people stopped throwing bottles and cigarette butts out of the window (we thank our citizens and guests of the city). Separate waste collection is a more complex issue. We will deal with it with all our limited possibilities. When a metro is built, the tunnel step by step moves towards the next station whatever rock it faces. Our next ‘station’ is separate waste collection throughout Kazan,” Ilsur Metshin concluded.

By Yekaterina Ablayeva