The fee for the garbage raises questions

Плата за помойку вызывает вопросы

It has been about four years since the start of the full-scale implementation of the garbage reform in Russia, and the regions are already asking for prosecutor’s checks on compliance with the standards for the accumulation of solid municipal waste (MSW).


Deputy Nikolay Buduyev responded to requests “from the field”. He sent a corresponding letter to the Prosecutor General of Russia Igor Krasnov, asking him to initiate appeals to the courts in order to identify fictitious or false measurements of MSW, as well as the repeal of regulations establishing excessive standards for the accumulation of MSW. The deputy believes that the adoption of standards for the accumulation of MSW in a number of regions (which he does not name) was based on deliberately inflated information from regional operators, which increased the fee for garbage collection for ordinary consumers by 2-6 times. It is even more difficult for commercial organizations – they sometimes have to overpay a hundred times more. Three years ago, the All-Russian Popular Front reported on 20 unscrupulous regional operators who worked in Moscow, Penza, Omsk, Oryol, Belgorod, Ryazan, Ulyanovsk, Nizhny Novgorod and Voronezh regions, Bashkiria, Dagestan and other regions.

In April of this year, in the State Duma, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Victoria Abramchenko reported on the work on environmental protection and the implementation of garbage reform, and after a speech by a government representative, Speaker of the lower house Vyacheslav Volodin stated: real work in this direction is lame. Among the claims that the deputies put forward at the government hour, they listed, for example, absurd payments for garbage collection – not from a person, but from a square meter, the merging of regoperators with local authorities. Then the chairman of the State Duma advised his colleagues to contact the prosecutor’s office, which, in fact, was recently done by Nikolai Buduyev.


How the garbage reform has changed people’s lives can be traced to St. Petersburg HBC 1277. Separate waste collection has been organized here since 2015 on the initiative of the chairman of the HBC. The house worked with Ekotochka LLC, which exported recyclables collected by residents of 484 apartments without complaints and exactly on schedule. They paid for the removal of the rest of the garbage strictly for the volume accumulated in the containers, and it did not exceed 50 cubic meters per month. People understood that the more they sorted, the less they paid for the disposal of mixed waste. This was the case until January 2022, and then Peter joined the garbage reform, and according to the city law, all consumers were required to use the services of JSC Nevsky Ecological Operator (NEO). The locally established points of separate collection of recyclables have been eliminated. There were no more of them in the courtyard of HBC 1277, and a new standard was set for the house itself. By living area. Ecotocke was paid 473 thousand rubles a year for the export of MSW, from 2022 NEO – 2.3 million rubles. Feel the difference. The owners are outraged by the threefold increase in the cost of garbage collection, but they can do nothing – the law adopted by the city authorities is not on their side.

And there are a lot of such examples all over the country. It is no wonder that garbage reform turns into scandals in the regions, and people’s discontent is growing. For example, there may be five dumpsters in the contract with the operator, but even if three are actually filled and two remain empty, they will still be forced to pay for five. Or how do you like it: if a person has two apartments, one of which is empty, he is obliged to pay for MSW for both apartments, because many regional authorities chose the one from the two options proposed by the law, according to which not people, but … square meters produce garbage.


Today, no one knows exactly how much waste is generated in the country. It’s still a great mystery, shrouded in darkness. Someone says that every Russian produces 400 kg of waste per year, someone says that 500, and someone notes that the “average hospital” values do not make sense and that a Muscovite in this regard is very different from a villager. The laws still do not clearly spell out how waste differs from secondary material resources, and the incineration of garbage according to reports is often passed off as its recycling, beautifully calling the incineration process high-tech energy utilization.

Currently, over 182 regional operators are already operating in the country, which provide services for the treatment of MSW. The Russian Environmental Operator (REO) reported that “in 2022, key indicators and results of the federal project were achieved, and some of them were exceeded by one and a half to two times.” The department believes that 2022 was a turning point: waste began to go exclusively to organized landfills, whereas back in 2021, 15% ended up in illegal landfills. In 2022, control over the movement of waste increased, which meets the objectives of the national project “Ecology”. The real picture is slightly different from the official one. “Garbage reform has failed” is the most popular thesis of regional media texts. Journalists describe the insolvency of regional operators, their conflicts with businesses, management companies, scandals with processors, inflated tariffs for citizens, overcrowded garbage sites and smoking landfills, an increase in the number of illegal landfills, lack of garbage separation or imitation. “In fact, only a tenth of what is formed is recycled, and in many cities and regions there is no processing or sorting at all,” write the authors of the Telegram channel “Department of Housing and Communal Services”.

– The population has a clear feeling that the garbage reform has come down to only one thing – to impose another unnecessary payment on people in favor of the regoperators. Most of the country’s population pays for garbage collection according to standards that can exceed the actual volume of waste generation at times, which has been repeatedly confirmed in the courts. HOA and the Criminal Code in the courts prove their right to switch to collection in fact, but face active resistance from regional operators and courts, – says State Duma deputy Svetlana Razvorotneva.

Well, all hope is for the prosecutor’s checks, which Nikolai Buduyev insists on. It seems that only they can reveal the underside of the garbage reform in the regions and reveal to Russians the secrets of the formation of standards for the accumulation of MSW. Of course, they are needed. But only for approximate planning, but calculations with consumers should be made only upon the fact of accumulated garbage.

Elena Kazantseva.

Photo: Moscow Agency.


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