According to the calculations of the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, 12.5 billion tons of domestic and industrial garbage accumulated on the territory of the state. At the same time, 40% of unsorted waste, say environmentalists, can be recycled.
Sort garbage failed
The problem of garbage in Ukraine started talking after the “Lviv garbage crisis.” Then, at the Gribovichsky test site in the Lviv region, where a tower of waste from the size of a multi-storeyed building grew, a fire broke out, several people died. After that, the court forbade the authorities of the region to use this dump, the mayor of Lviv Andrei Sadovy could not solve the problem for a long time, because of what he lost his relatively high presidential rating.
According to the authorities of Lviv, the crisis ended only in mid-July 2017, when the city was cleared of accumulated debris.
And from January 1, 2018, throughout Ukraine, they had to start sorting out the garbage. In all the courtyards of the country, alongside conventional trash cans, conveyors for sorted wastes were supposed. The law was adopted 5 years ago, but it was planned to implement it only from the beginning of 2018.
It was assumed that after the sorting of waste began, the garbage processing plants would begin to receive raw materials and earn decent money on this. Not to mention the benefits to the environment, which would begin to suffer less from landfills.
In fact, good intentions remained only on paper. It turned out that the law does not specify the order of actions that the country needs to pass for the transition to the European waste management system. And so for ordinary citizens, even despite the system of fines, the “new sorting life” has not started.
The bread of the “garbage mafia”
The problem of garbage disposal remains acute for Ukraine since Soviet times. Then the waste was buried – it was the only method. And in independent Ukraine on a trash topic began to earn crime.
According to experts, garbage business in the country is 90% – in the shade and at the same time it is thriving. Dumps are used in various schemes of illegal earnings, therefore, in the legalization of processes, the “garbage mafia” is not interested.
To solve the problem, the authorities of Ukraine adopted the National Waste Management Strategy, according to which by 2030 the country should get rid of billions of tons of accumulated garbage. But there is a strategy, but there is no money – about 6 billion hryvnias are needed for the sale.
In the coming years, the country intends to build 6 state waste-processing plants. The enterprises currently operating are private and, due to the lack of separate collection schemes, are forced to purchase raw materials abroad.
But even if factories are built, it is not a fact that they will work effectively. In 2013, in Rovno opened a garbage processing plant, which actually operates as a sorting station. The confusion in licensing is to blame. According to the experts, the problem is that the hole in the regulatory framework does not allow the plant to receive money for waste processing, and low tariffs for garbage disposal and the unwillingness of Ukrainians to pay more for recycling make the work of the Smolensk plant unprofitable.
Now in Ukraine only one incineration plant “Energia”, located near Kiev, works. It is 100% loaded, but even with such a schedule, it hardly copes with the third of all waste from the capital.
Europe has long learned to make money from garbage. The recycling of waste in the European Union is a separate industry. The obtained raw materials are used in production: from recycled plastic, for example, furniture, pipes, household appliances and even toys are made. Recycled glass is allowed for the production of tiles, ceramics and tiles.
It is important that the use of recycled materials reduces the cost of production by at least 30%.
For example, in Germany, the state waste-processing plant has about 200 million euros of annual turnover and jobs for 250,000 Germans. It turns out that the issue of ecology and employment for the population is being solved.
In total, only 3% of solid household waste is processed in Ukraine today, the Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Ostap Semerak quotes. The remaining 97% are simply taken to landfills. And the average in Europe is 39%.
In an interview with Ales Batsman on “112 Ukraine” TV channel, Semerak said that there are no more garbage processing plants in the country that meet European practice and national strategy of Ukraine than fingers on two hands.
“We will have to create a waste management system, which will consist of 300 regional centers for collection and processing of solid domestic waste. As far as I understand, your question is not about garbage in general, but about solid household waste, the so-called municipal garbage. There are others – hazardous wastes, agricultural waste … I will not list, I will say that in our strategy we covered everything. Today, only 3% of solid household waste is processed in Ukraine. The remaining 97% are simply exported to the mass of legal and illegal, organized and unorganized dumps and are thrown out there, “the minister said.
According to him, Ukraine has almost turned into a large garbage dump.
“I would not want to frighten or exaggerate the colors, but enough with a backpack to go camping or go down in a kayak along one of the Ukrainian rivers to see it,” Seemerak said.
Meanwhile, the ministers talk about the big garbage problems of Ukraine, landfills in the country are taking over all new territories.