Garbage reform: tip dirt out - we will sort it out later

Garbage reform: tip dirt out - we will sort it out later
Garbage reform: tip dirt out - we will sort it out later
20 October 2020, 10:50
Garbage recycling may well bring in money, but to do this, you first need to invest it in it.

Lyudmila Butuzova

At the end of September, the Russian Audit Chamber published another bulletin on the progress of the garbage reform in the country. The report contains 159 pages, but they do not contain anything new and unexpected. It is a simple statement that the situation "remains unfavorable": disposal is still a priority method of MSW management, no measures are taken to reduce the volume of their generation, and there are not enough funds to create modern waste processing technologies. As a result, the capacity of landfills is drying up, and unauthorized landfills continue to spoil the lives of citizens and poison the environment.

With the garbage reform, everything is bad, but not hopeless, - General Director of ROSEKOPRO (Regional Industrial Union of Professional Operators for Waste Management), member of the expert council of the State Duma Committee on Economic Policy, Industry, Innovative Technologies and Entrepreneurship Andrey Clever people.

- The leader of the "Fair Russia" party, Sergei Mironov, impressed by the report of the Accounts Chamber, said that "the current garbage reform should be officially recognized as a failure, abandon it, not try to patch up anything." You, too, did not differ in loyalty to the reform, and now you declare that it is "not hopeless". What changed?

- The covid epic has pushed the reports of "garbage reform" into the background, but the problem with waste does not just exist, but is growing rapidly. In a number of subjects (Moscow and the region, St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, Nizhny Novgorod, Chelyabinsk, Novosibirsk, etc.), it is already extremely acute. It is necessary to solve the problem, as it is necessary to find complex and non-standard solutions. This also follows from the key conclusion of the Accounts Chamber - "90% of waste is still taken to landfills". Why such a deplorable result? Yes, from the fact that regional operators, towards whose monopoly all market participants have an extremely negative attitude, overwhelmingly deal only with the disposal of waste to landfills and landfills. At the same time, everyone somehow forgot that the Federal Law "On Production and Consumption Wastes", in addition to the duties of collection and transportation, imposed on the regoperators the duties for sorting and processing waste, which they do not generally fulfill. The coronavirus epidemic that has fallen on the country seems to allow pushing these two most important responsibilities far away. There is also a "justification" - the cost of implementing the national project "Ecology" has been reduced from the initial 4.3 trillion. rubles to 400 billion rubles and stretched over time - until 2030. The costs of projects in the field of municipal solid waste (MSW) management have also been naturally reduced.

Let me remind you: the federal project "Integrated system for solid municipal waste management" was launched in 2019. The key goal is to create a high-tech infrastructure for waste treatment and disposal. But according to auditors, this goal remains as far away as at the moment of launch, and its parameters require revision.

For example, the project does not envisage measures aimed at reducing the volume of waste and measures for the separate collection of waste. And the changes in legislation at the end of last year, which equated the incineration of waste with the generation of energy with recycling, indicate that no one is in a hurry to establish a system of separate collection in Russia. In addition, the auditors note that the target results and indicators set in the project are not sufficiently linked to each other, and their values were not coordinated with the regions. The result of such discrepancies was that 42% of the subjects of the Russian Federation did not confirm the possibility of their implementation and did not conclude an agreement with the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia on the implementation of regional projects.

If we talk about regional programs for waste management, only 39 regions have provided for measures to introduce separate waste collection. The worst situation is with the creation of an infrastructure for MSW management - only 9 entities use the best available technologies for this.


The Ministry of Natural Resources explains: the reason for everything is a lack of funds. The fact is that all the preliminary work on the design and examination of waste processing complexes should be carried out by the entities at their own expense. And most of the regions complain that these funds are not provided for in the budget.

It turns out to be a usual cycle: processing may well bring money, but for this you first need to invest money in it. Where to get the funds?

Funding for the FP MSW for 2020 is 7.3 billion rubles, for 2021 - 8.3 billion, and for 2022 - 13.3 billion.In 2023 and 2024, the bar should rise to 30.5 billion rubles and 27.7 billion rubles respectively. But, as noted by the Accounts Chamber, the activities of the federal project are mainly aimed at collecting information and preparing legal documents. And at the regional level, the main source of investment is payments from the population, the amount of which depends on the norms for the accumulation of MSW and the corresponding tariffs. But here, as noted in the joint venture, "there is a problem of transparency of calculations".

The standards differ significantly even in comparable areas. Thus, the tariff range for the services of regional operators in 2019 ranged from 244 to 1,411 rubles per cubic meter. The result was a low collection rate - 79% in 2019 and 76% in the first half of 2020. As a result, as of July 1, 2020, there was a risk that 22 regional operators serving 15.1 million people in 19 constituent entities of the Russian Federation may terminate their services.

However, the July Decree of the President of the Russian Federation "On the National Development Goals of the Russian Federation for the Period up to 2030" set a specific task - to create a sustainable MSW management system that would ensure 100% sorting of waste and a 2-fold reduction in the volume of waste sent to landfills. In my opinion, this is exactly the task, the solution of which will allow to eliminate many problems with waste and, first of all, not to bury 90% of MSW at landfills, biting your elbows, that they contain at least 30-35% of secondary raw materials, but let them into business and make money on it.

Tip dirt out - we will sort it out later

- Andrei Albertovich, I hope you will not start the favorite song of many experts and officials, that everyone needs to start with themselves, there will be no normal garbage reform (and not its corrupt likeness) until we all switch to purely separate waste collection and etc ... However, according to the ONF press service, today "the situation with this is much better." The All-Russian Popular Front managed to collect the addresses of 596 thousand container sites for separate waste collection in 72 regions of the country. Today Moscow is in first place - 89%, followed by the Moscow region - 69%, then the Yaroslavl region, Tatarstan, Sevastopol and Mordovia. Least of all equipped container sites were found in the Omsk region - there are only 10%, as well as in Kirov, Orel, Murmansk, Tyumen and Irkutsk. Expert of the Ecology site, Alexander Kogan, said that thanks to separate collection in Moscow, factories can already extract up to 20% of useful fractions. Well, just a little more, and the desired 35% of secondary raw materials will be extracted from the garbage...

- Honestly, we have already gotten bravura statements about the successful implementation of Separate waste collection (SWC / RSO) in the country. If in Moscow you look into the blue and gray garbage containers, which respectively say "recyclable" and "mixed waste", then their composition is absolutely identical. Despite this indisputable fact, the Deputy Mayor of Moscow for Housing and Public Utilities, Petr Pavlovich Biryukov, does not hesitate to state the following: “In 6 months, 413 thousand tons of recyclable materials were sent for processing, which is 60% more than in the same period last year - then this figure was 257 thousand tons". I do not believe the words of the above-named gentlemen for the following reasons.

1. Who processed this amount of recyclable materials? No one has ever announced to which enterprises and with what capacities 0.413 million tons of “sorted waste” were sent for processing - and this, just in case, 5816 freight cars or 970 cars per month (!!!). Where are these mythical factories, remains a secret behind seven seals, the question is - why?

2. Who processed such a volume of recyclable materials? What vehicles were used to take out almost half a million tons of "sorted waste", if every day you can observe a picture when garbage trucks arrive, on board of which either the inscription "Recyclable" or "Mixed waste" (which in practice does not make any difference) and load all the contents and blue and gray containers in their only bunker, and then all this mess is taken to the landfill. I have never seen a garbage truck equipped with 2 bins - for recyclable materials and mixed waste. So on what, ½ million tons of "sorted waste" were exported from Moscow, if single-bin garbage trucks with the inscription "Recyclable" carry mixed waste without exception?

Therefore, the gentlemen from the ONF advice - it is not necessary to count the containers, but more often to look at them - budget funds are cut into the bulk purchases of containers under the slogan of RNO, but RNO does not work out.

- It would be unfair to say only that officials are incompetent and entrepreneurs are unscrupulous, although both are the case. But you will not deny that the separate collection of waste, to which they are trying to accustom the population, until this goal has not been achieved?

- I will express my personal opinion - and will not achieve it if we continue to be "accustomed" to the NOR. First, people see no incentive to do the unpaid work of sorting waste and transporting it with their own hands to collection sites. In my opinion, there should be benefits for the payment of utility services "handling MSW", subsidies for the elderly, significant discounts on payments for small children, etc., but this is not. At the same time, calls for RNO to be carried out in order to preserve the ecology against the background of barbaric deforestation in Siberia, the spill of oil products near Norilsk and their discharge into the Angara, attempts to plow the Shikhan Kushtau in Bashkiria for the sake of soda extraction, as well as the unprecedented poisoning of biological resources in the coastal waters of Kamchatka, to the majority of the population no longer work. Secondly, people are already, to put it mildly, "on edge", and here from the officials comes "rationalization" - to weld up garbage chutes, so that people sort their waste. Thank God that the idea did not find support in the government, otherwise the degree of social tension would go off scale.

I repeat once again: if you create motivation for people and stop engaging in profanity, then they will sort. However, it should be understood that separate collection by the population will not fully solve the problem of 100% sorting of MSW. And the task is very important, and it should be considered, not only as the task of the president, but as one of the small, but necessary, steps on the way of leaving the country from the “oil needle” by using secondary raw materials. Therefore, it must be solved, despite the pandemic, economic disruptions, surges in oil prices, etc., but it is possible to achieve the established target only through the creation of industrial facilities for sorting MSW.


- We just discussed: neither the state nor regional operators have money for this...

- Even before the start of the reform, the business community of carriers proposed to form an extra-budgetary source of financing at their own expense to solve problems in the field of waste management. We were ready for this, we had the support of the Minister of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation Dmitry Kobylkin. Then they failed to implement this approach - they decided to carry out the reform at the expense of the population and the state budget. Well, let's just say frankly: officials are not too happy about off-budget money offered by business - you can't cut it. And our business, albeit small, but serious, just a little, the carriers will not give a hand, but in the face. So, then, the private-state partnership did not work out...

Nevertheless, by the joint efforts of the expert and business community, a "road map" was prepared for the implementation of the proposal, and now, when failures on the garbage front are obvious to everyone, it can be in demand. Anticipating your question - "why?" I will immediately answer - yes, if only because all other proposals are related only to requests for money from the state , we are not asking for money, but we propose to form an off-budget source of funding and, together with the state, implement projects for 100% sorting and recycling of waste.

- How, under the current conditions and with the complete monopoly of regional operators on all garbage produced by the population, can carriers form an off-budget fund and even capture such a vein as industrial waste sorting? This is no longer just an adjustment to the reform, but almost a 180-degree turn?

- So for this now, non-standard and decisive actions are required, so that the reform ceases to be hopeless. According to our "roadmap", it is necessary to form business communities of carriers of MSW - professional associations, legally securing the obligation of regional operators to conclude contracts for the collection and transportation of waste only with members of such professional associations. Each carrier, upon joining a trade union, pays a contribution to the reserve fund. What is it for? - For guaranteed financing of liquidation of harm caused to the environment. Dumped garbage in an unauthorized dump - you will pay for it and for compensation damage. Now the license is issued on the basis of the "issued and forgotten" principle, and the trade union will be responsible for its members with its own money, hence the motivation to increase control over the activities of carriers. Frankly, fifteen hundred full-time inspectors of environmental supervision, with all due respect to them, cannot ensure control over tens of thousands of carriers of MSW, many of whom work in the gray zone. And the trade union associations will not only be able to, but guaranteed to provide, and even with the use of mobile video recording systems, drones and GAIS ERA-GLONASS equipment, because the funds of the reserve funds are at stake. Therefore, it is proposed to delegate part of the control and supervisory functions of the state for the transportation of solid municipal waste to trade union associations.

The less our carriers screwed up, the more funds remained in the reserve fund. By placing all reserve funds on the deposits of one bank, for example, in a year, the commission from each deposit will be sent and accumulated on a special account of the formed National Association of Trade Unions - this is an off-budget source.

Now about the directions of investment of off-budget funds. In Russia, the annual generation of MSW is 55-60 million tons. As an option, the following is proposed to shorten the time frame for the President's task of 100% sorting of waste. One of the domestic enterprises manufactures MSW sorting complexes with a capacity of 50 thousand tons / year, the cost of which with installation supervision, equipment debugging, commissioning and personnel training is 4.4 million rubles. To ensure 100% sorting of 60 million tons of waste generated annually in Russia, it is necessary to form a federal network of 1200 such complexes and place them in accordance with the federal MSW management scheme. The total cost of 1200 sorting complexes will amount to about 5.3 billion rubles, and we propose to finance this project from an extra-budgetary source. "Seizure of the vein" is not planned, but making a profit by our carriers when delivering garbage for sorting will be one of the prerequisites for a public-private partnership. With the prompt legislative support of the proposal, the off-budget source will be fully formed in the third quarter of 2022, after which it is possible to start creating a federal network of sorting complexes.

- It is fantastic?

- No. Today, the mechanism of public-private partnership in the field of waste management is being actively worked out at the sites of the specialized committees of the State Duma and in the expert community. Rosprirodnadzor and the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the State Corporation Rostec, which is implementing the Energy from Waste project, are interested in this.

The consolidated proposal, I hope, will soon be sent to the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Victoria Abramchenko for consideration and decision making. For the reform, the interest is direct, one of its main goals is more for processing, less for landfill. And in order for “more for processing”, more is needed for sorting - this is where an extra-budgetary source of funding will be in demand, especially against the background of Putin's task of 100% sorting of MSW by 2030.

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