Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Sverdlovsk government adopts plan to address accumulating industrial waste

On Wednesday, the Sverdlovsk regional cabinet adopted a 16-year strategy to deal with the large amounts of industrial waste amassing in the area.

The strategy was adopted during the a meeting between high-ranking members of the regional government and Alexei Kuznetsov, the regional minister of natural resources and environment. During the meeting, Kuznetsov reported that the total mass of industrial waste accumulated in the Middle Urals has exceeded nine billion tons to date, Oblastnaya Gazeta reports.

Kuznetsov said waste will continue to accumulate annually as the 111 industrial plants operating in the Sverdlovsk region collectively generate 190 million tons of waste each year. Current waste treatment methods employed in the area allow for only 84 million tons of industrial material to be recycled each year, with the remainder of the waste distributed among the 307 landfills in operation in the region.

The adopted strategy calls for the reduction of waste accumulation from nine to 7.9 billion tons before 2030. Moreover, the resolution seeks to increase recycling programs undertaken by industrial enterprises in the area. In 2013, industrial companies recycled an average of 42 percent of the waste generated by their activities. By the end of the 2030, laws will require regional industrial plants to recycle at least 65 percent of the total waste generated, according to Oblastnaya Gazeta.

Kuznetsov pointed to a lack of existing technology and interest in developing new technology as an explanation for the large accumulation of industrial waste in the region, adding that the manufacturing industry should play a larger role in developing cost-efficient and comprehensive waste treatment products and procedures.

"Under the new laws, I first of all understand the amendments to the federal law," Kuzentsov said, Oblastnaya Gazeta reports. "The fact that the leadership of the subject of the Russian Federation now has the right to control waste management only in small factories. However, this is only half a percent of the total volume of waste generated in our region. The rest of the volume create enterprise giants, which are administered by the federal government. So for us, this first step--to achieve inclusion of management entities of the Russian Federation, in particular, the Sverdlovsk region in the number of authorities who have the right to monitor the status of waste from large-scale production. This is important so that we can get information about which waste large enterprises are placed in special development area, which is for recycling."