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St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region share a "garbage pie"
8 June, 17:40
St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region share a "garbage pie"
Photo: Яндекс Дзен
The conflict on the basis of garbage between St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region has spilled over into the public arena. A part of the correspondence between officials was published, in which the Leningrad region expressed claims to the Northern capital.

Alexander Dybin

In particular, Anastasia Kuznetsova, chairman of the waste management committee of the Leningrad Region, writes to her colleague in St. Petersburg that the two documents that regulate waste disposal in both regions - waste management schemes - do not correspond to each other. Moreover, St. Petersburg violates its own regulatory framework, which states that the city takes out garbage only to burial sites, that is, landfills. And according to Kuznetsova, garbage is delivered to some garbage transfer stations, where unknown manipulations are carried out with them.

So one of these points is the site of the Eco Land company near the city of Lomonosov, where, according to officials from the Leningrad region, waste is sorted. Eco Land is one of the garbage carriers, it received a contract for more than three billion rubles for the removal of waste from several districts of the Northern capital. The second such facility is the Gamma company in the Utkina Zavod area. Anastasia Kuznetsova writes that nothing is known about this structure at all, and it is not clear whether it even has a waste management license.

According to experts interviewed by Novye Izvestia, the essence of the claims that the region has made against the city is of little significance, and the public attack is part of the struggle for control over financial flows as part of the waste reform.

Since the beginning of 2022, a garbage reform has started in St. Petersburg and Lenobalsti. The Nevsky Ecological Operator (founders of Inter RAO and VTB) became the waste management operator. The company is responsible for collecting fees for waste collection, working with carriers and waste disposal sites. At the same time, according to the logic of the reform, it is proposed to create five waste processing complexes in the near future. Two in the city, three in the Leningrad region. So far, all the waste goes to landfills in the Leningrad region, and with it the money, as landfill owners receive a fee for garbage disposal. The more volume, the more money. When and if the factories start working, the volume of waste that will come out of the six millionth St. Petersburg will be drastically reduced. Therefore, the situation of chaos is beneficial for polygons.

Одна из акций против мусороперерабатывающего комплекса.
Photo:"Зеленая коалиция Петербурга"/vk.com

At the same time, the Leningrad region gave the "Nevsky Environmental Operator" three promising sites for the placement of plants - these are abandoned quarries, which are supposed to be reclaimed with what remains of waste processing. But here the operator faced fierce resistance from the residents. All three quarries are located near settlements in the suburbs of St. Petersburg, and residents very quickly organized themselves into protest groups that write complaints, collect signatures, and appear in the media. Moreover, their arguments are very logical. So, one of the plants is proposed to be located near the village of Orzhitsa in the Lomonosov district of the Leningrad region. The code for the location of the waste processing complex was assigned to a site near the Brandovka quarry. But residents are against it, since it is only 1.5 kilometers to residential buildings, in addition, they proposed to place a garbage object on the territory from which Peterhof fountains feed on water, as well as the drinking spring of Lomonosov and Kronstadt.

According to environmentalist Kasimir Vransky, the Leningrad region cannot build relations with the Nevsky Environmental Operator and St. Petersburg:

“The Leningrad Region wants its own operator,” the expert says, “this has been going on for a long time, no one can agree on anything at the level of committees. One hand doesn't know what the other is doing. The simplest issues cannot be resolved because officials cannot agree. In this case, ordinary people suffer. The same sites that were chosen for waste processing do not suit people, they want feedback. But it is difficult to establish it, since there is zero trust in local authorities. I don’t know until what moment this will all continue, probably until they hit with a fist from Moscow, they won’t agree. At the same time, people, each protest group formulate their questions on these projects at a professional level, they need to be listened to. The regulator was taken hostage. He works with those plots that he was given by the regional authorities”.

Sergey Gribalev, a member of the public council under the Ministry of Ecology of Russia, who previously worked in the government of the Leningrad Region, where he oversaw waste management issues, believes that the whole conflict is tied to money from the collection and disposal of garbage.

“More than once, St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region sat down at the negotiating table, shook hands, but behind the scenes they never could agree,” says Sergey Gribalev, “all these pictures of them sitting, smiling, shaking hands - this is an appearance. Subordinates are given diametrical commands. If earlier it was all at the level of state apparatuses, now the press and the public are increasingly being drawn into this, at federal meetings the Leningrad Region is trying to prick St. Petersburg. Beglov is a more powerful apparatchik and tries to use the telephone right. I called and the issue was resolved. Drozdenko has to use public funds. In fact, the reform is being disrupted. Those objects that the governor of the Leningrad region gave are obviously a failure. Both environmentally and socially. The people there will fight against the garbage factories to the end. This social tension is almost at the borders of NATO. Why is it necessary? Moscow often does not see sabotage”.

According to the expert, St. Petersburg is able to process up to 90% of its waste itself, and take the rest to a landfill in the region. But there they disagree on such a small piece:

“My concept is that we can recycle all the garbage in St. Petersburg ourselves,” says Gribalev, “we know how to sort, we have active citizens who love nature. If you throw a cry, if cultural figures join in this ... The same Cord will sing “sort waste”, everyone will do it. We are able to sort and this is 80% of success. There are already examples, one of the carriers has two sorting plants, they only export tailings to the Novy Svet landfill. In our city, there are enterprises that are able to process this raw material: glass, plastic, paper. If you do everything at home, then a small amount of tailings will go to the Leningrad Region, if they are dehydrated using lithification technology, then this will be a minimum. And store it away from people. To avoid protests. In the opinion of scientists - everything is simple, in the opinion of officials - it is difficult. If all this is implemented, then the Leningrad region will receive nothing, the governor is not satisfied with this. And Peter has a failure in working with the public, they cannot show their concept, explain the situation.