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Russian city abandons waste recycling program

Vladivostok has been struggling with infrastructure and staffing issues, according to local media

Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok has abandoned the practice of separate waste collection for recycling, due to operating setbacks, local media reported on Thursday.

The VladNews website, citing a local environmental body, wrote that the city has been struggling with a lack of infrastructure and staff to remove and process the waste. As a result, a decision was made to start removing recycling containers throughout the city.

“It is physically impossible to cope with the current problems, so first of all we need to restore order,” Aleksey Borisov, the acting director of the Primorsky Environmental Operator (PEO), was quoted as saying.

PEO is part of the Russian Environmental Operator (REO), a public company established by President Vladimir Putin to form a new system for handling solid municipal waste.

Borisov said recruiting drivers to collect garbage was a major issue, and cited a local law restricting foreigners from being hired for the position.

Vladivostok is the second-largest city in the Russian Far East, with a population of nearly 600,000 as of 2024. It is the largest Russian port on the Pacific Ocean.

In 2019, the Russian government launched a ‘waste disposal reform’ project to promote recycling and trash-sorting, following on from previous efforts to tackle critically overfilled landfill sites and unauthorized dumps across the country.

The project was designed to improve the process of collecting, transporting and processing waste, and to introduce nationwide separation of recyclable and non-recyclable trash.

READ MORE: Recycling plastic a ‘failed concept’ – Greenpeace

As part of the program, many yard waste collection sites were equipped with two containers instead of usual single one, to sort the garbage. More than 320,000 containers for separated waste have been set up across the country since 2019, according to REO. As a result, it is expected that 100% of waste in Russia will be sorted by 2030, the operator has said.

June 27, 2024 at 09:28PM

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