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Implementation of the W.A.S.T.E. project continues

14 february 2012

Every day major cities of the North-West Russia produce several tons of waste, most of which is delivered to landfills, polluting the environment and harming human health. It is estimated that 70–80% of this waste can be recycled.

In the Nordic countries the problem of waste management is solved by high cost of disposal in landfills and strict legislation which requires sorting and recycling of waste.

The experience of the Nordic neighbours is being studied by some Russian regions, which start to introduce a new system of waste handling. Thus, within the NCM project «Waste awareness: Sorting, Treatment and Education” several training events were held in Sestroretsk and Petrozavodsk on 8–9 February.

The seminar in Sestroretsk brought together representatives of municipalities, experts of environmental NGOs and business companies. Speakers from Finland and the Russian cities participating in the project (Petrozavodsk, Sestroretsk and Pskov) shared their experience in implementing a system of selective waste collection and education technologies; spoke about the current situation in disposal of solid waste. Great interest was aroused by the young environmental activists from St. Petersburg who presented “Battery” project on dealing with hazardous waste.

Events in Petrozavodsk were arranged for different target audiences: experts from the Environmental School of Finland (SYKLI) conducted a training for teachers of schools and kindergartens in Petrozavodsk — the project participants which carry out educational programs for children on waste handling.

The W.A. S.T.E. project involves 13 schools and 5 kindergartens in Petrozavodsk, in which activists of «Green Wave” NGO conduct interactive training sessions and games. Both Nordic and Russian partners agree that environmental awareness should be raised from childhood.

Teachers were neither forgotten: for them the Centre for the Development of Education in Petrozavodsk held a training course on sustainable use of resources. At the end of March 2012 teachers from Petrozavodsk, Apatity and Sestroretsk will take part in a study visit to Helsinki on environmental education.

A separate meeting was held for the representatives of Petrozavodsk communal services, which either already installed containers for separate waste collection on their territoties or are planning to do so. Important issues were discussed with the representatives of city enterprise Avtospetstrans – how to charge for disposal of selected waste, what are the best options for the installation of containers, how to raise awareness of the citizens.

In total about 120 people participated in the events in Petrozavodsk and Sestroretsk.