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W.A.S.T.E. project: sharing first results

1 december 2011

26 objects in Petrozavodsk - including houses, companies and factories - have started to implement separate collection of waste. This was mentioned by Vladimir Manylin, head of Avtospetstrans municipal company during the kick-off seminar of the international project "W.A.S.T.E. Waste awareness: Sorting, Treatment and Education" held in Petrozavodsk City Administration. 

The aim of the project is to involve more houses and companies into the process of waste sorting, to raise awareness of the importance of eco-friendly behavior and to provide background materials based on the Nordic legislation for elaboration regional laws on waste treatment. 

The international project W.A.S.T.E. is supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers. Among the participants – Petrozavodsk, Sestrorets, Pskov, Apatity and Nordic partners from Finland, Denmark and Norway. The activities are based on the experience of the previous project implemented in 2009-2010 which resulted in introduction of separate waste collection in a pilot district of Petrozavodsk.

At present, the municipal enterprise Avtospetstrans, supported by the City Administration, has provided technological conditions, allowing collection, storage, and sending for further treatment different types of sorted waste: paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, scrap metal, and wood. In particular, waste paper and cardboard are being sold to the cardboard factory in Suojärvi, glass, plastic and metal are bought by local private recycling companies, and used furniture and waste wood are processed into wood chips, which are used at some of the small boiling units.

Similar approaches, leading to the decrease in volume of waste going to landfill, have for decades been applied in Northern Europe. Notably, 90% of Denmark’s domestic waste enters the recycling process, and in Norway and Finland the state pursues a policy of closing down existing landfills.

Exchange of experience with Nordic partners is one of the key tasks of the project.

As pointed out by Petrozavodsk Mayor Nikolay Levin, fostering responsible attitudes towards the environment and resource use should start at an early age. With this in mind, the project has already proposed a program of activities for schools and kindergartens. To date some 10 secondary schools and a few kindergartens have expressed their willingness to participate in the project.

The project’s upcoming plans include organizing direct trainings for target groups in Petrozavodsk and Sestroretsk (housing associations and schools) in February 2012, and organization of a study visit to Helsinki for educational workers in March 2012.

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