When Sweden purchases garbage abroad in order to keep their recycling plants running, it doesn’t seem strange. The Swedes have solved the problem of their own waste a long time ago. They have very effective separate garbage collection, recycling and incineration at waste-to-energy plants. However, when we hear that Russia has started to import plastic waste, it seems absurd. Russia drowning in its own waste does is a backward country regarding waste management and does not have either a system of recycling or regulated landfills. In Russia, what they call landfills is actually city dumps of different sizes. Such dumps cause contamination of the environment and the people living in the neighborhood.
In the meantime, Russian waste industries have purchased plastic garbage by 32% more in 2018 than a year before, with the total cost of $20 mln. According to experts and entrepreneurs, the import of plastic garbage is growing due to the absence of efficient system of separate garbage collection. According to Green Peace. 94% of waste is taken to landfills instead of being recycled. That is recycling plants are compensating the lack of domestic plastic garbage with imported plastics.
Meanwhile, the construction of a landfill in Shies, Arkhangelsk region, that will become the largest landfill in Europe, have already cost about $100 mln, including the cost of guarding it from the local protestors. Evidently, that money could have been spent on organizing and effective system of separate garbage collection. The experience of all progressive countries shows that the most economically efficient way is development of domestic separate garbage collection infrastructure and recycling system. Also, this way is the most environmentally friendly. In Russia, we have enough of domestic plastic garbage. Moreover, we have domestic technology of waste treatment. However, the waste problem in Russia is going in the suicidal direction which only shows how corrupted and biased the structures involved in waste management are.