Is garbage a lucrative business?

Andrey Soloviov, entrepreneur

Andrey Soloviov, entrepreneur, had a lot of different professions, has been around, know a lot. Regarding the waste treatment problem, I can say that back in 1994 I and Mr. Parfionov, used-to-be head of Moscow’s Northwest administrative area, launched a recycling station. It was the first recycling station in Moscow. Our goal was to break free from the backward society that couldn’t even handle its own waste.

All garbage collected in the Northwest part of Moscow was brought to our station, where it was sorted through and then shredded. After that, shredded garbage was supposed to be used as recyclable materials for different production fields. Well, paper and metal was not a problem. Food waste was used to make compost. Speaking of plastic garbage, we planned to recycle it. And the rest of garbage was pressed and taken to landfills. Small garbage trucks arrived to our station and after all stages of sorting and recycling, one big garbage truck equipped with a press machine was loaded with non-recyclable garbage and took it to a landfill. Everything seemed to be working well. However, it turned out that all our procedures demanded human workforce. That was first thing. And second, we needed understanding where we would take recyclable garbage for further recycling and use. And it turned out that our cost of waste treatment was rather high and without subsidies from the government budget we couldn’t solve that problem. And the government didn’t want to solve that problem. I realized why, when I traveled out of Russia and visited small countries, I saw effective waste treatment. When I visited big countries, I saw the same mess as we have in Russia. I realized that Russia is a hostage of its own vast territories.

There will always be a ravine to dump garbage. It is more profitable than to recycle it. It turned out that heads of administrations of all towns adjacent to Moscow accepted garbage from Moscow using their landfills. They dumped garbage collection costs and our station’s cost was always higher, at least 30-40% higher than theirs. That’s why my recycling station eventually shut down. Another thing was recyclable materials were not in demand. Our industries, or rather what was left of them, used primary materials and that was enough. No one wanted recyclable materials. So, now that I hear talk of how garbage is a lucrative business, I find it funny. All theories can be proved right or wrong by practice. I went through waste treatment industry, all its stage, from collecting to selling recyclable materials, and I realized that in our country all this talk is nothing but just talk.

With money as the biggest value, the humanity will soon disappear. Money cannot be the only thing to aspire to. Now we’re facing the problem of survival. That’s why governments should support financially all waste treatment industries and procedures. The state is a unity that organizes and leads its people and it should not lead them into a grave.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *