The plan for solving the garbage problem in Russia – with dumps growing to the skies and overcrowded landfills that have long since exhausted their capacity – suddenly hung in the air.
The Russian government rejected the mega-project of the state corporation Rostec and VEB for the construction of 25 waste incineration plants throughout the country.
Deputy Prime Minister Viktoria Abramchenko, who oversees ecology, gave a turn from the gate to Sergei Chemezov and Igor Shuvalov.
Backward by the standards of Europe, where waste incineration is abandoned in favor of recycling, the Rostec project was initially estimated at 600 billion rubles. But in two years of preparation of the estimate and calculations, its cost has more than doubled and already reaches 1.3 trillion rubles.
As a result, the project became “platinum”, and in its current form “is definitely not supported,” Abramchenko said following a meeting in the Cabinet.
It was assumed that by burning 14.6 million tons of garbage, the Rostec plants would generate 1.5 GW of electricity annually, which would be sold to the market at a “green” tariff.
For the construction of the plants, Rostec and VEB asked for 320 billion rubles from the federal budget, and for them to function they proposed to introduce an “eco-collection” for the disposal of packaging from manufacturers and importers of goods. But the Ministry of Finance opposed it, proposing to build factories by increasing tariffs for the population, a source familiar with the discussion told RBC.
The government is beginning to question the idea of incinerating waste. The Cabinet of Ministers insists on a cyclical system (waste recycling) that does not create waste, Abramchenko’s press service told RIA Novosti. “Why do we need expensive electricity and gold waste?” – the Deputy Prime Minister wonders.
Be that as it may, Rostec is already building five waste incineration plants in the Moscow region (in the Voskresensky, Naro-Fominsk, Solnechnogorsk and Bogorodsky districts) and Kazan.
The construction of another 25 plants was planned to begin in 2024, and to be completed in the 2030s. The goal is to halve the volume of garbage taken to landfills, Abramchenko said in January.
The government has no time to think. In 32 regions, the capacity of landfills will be exhausted by 2024, and in 17 of them – by 2022, the Accounts Chamber warned in September.
The situation is close to “close to critical”, wrote the auditors of the joint venture, since “most regions simply do not have the opportunity to create new landfills.”
Now in Russia there are 8,323 landfills, of which 916 are located within urban districts.