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Strengthening International Alliances for the Localization of Waste-to-Energy Solutions

5 October 2018
Усиление международных альянсов для локализации решений в области переработки отходов в энергию


More waste poses a threat to future generations

«By 2050, there will be a total of 3 billion tonnes of waste per year. This is a big challenge for future generations. And we must do everything to solve this problem. Because if you take a traditional approach to solving this problem, it won’t work. We need to move to a closed-loop economy. This is precisely the reason why UNIDO is working on starting this process and reducing the amount of waste so that as few dumps and landfills as possible appear. We need a wide range of participants, who can truly make a difference with their joint efforts. We need centralized approaches and solutions», Senior Coordinator for Climate and Innovation Technologies at the UNIDO Energy Department Carlos Ernesto Chanduvi Suarez said.

«We are aware that we have not properly treated waste and have harmed ourselves. We understand that the country may end up choking on this waste and that they need to be recycled», Chairwoman of the Commission on Ecology and Environmental Protection at the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation Albina Dudareva said.

«There are landfills that are simply scattered throughout the entire territory. They are 90% full, and some are already 100% full. And this is a biochemical uncontrollable reactor that will remain for future generations for hundreds of years», Chairman of the Standing Committee on Ecology and Nature Management of the Legislative Assembly of the Leningrad Region Nikolay Kuzmin said.

Recycling is an important social issue

«In Russia, the public are the ones who raised the issue of waste at the highest political level. People do not want to live surrounded by dumps. They are tired of being afraid of the impact that dumps have on them. And the Russian Public Chamber was instructed by the Russian president to analyse why this situation has occurred and how waste management reforms are proceeding», Dudareva said.

The reform of the waste recycling industry has entered the practical stage in Russia

«The reform has created the conditions for waste to be processed at facilities. For this purpose, the institution of a regional operator has been created. For this purpose, regional waste management plans have been developed and places have been designated where waste should be processed [...] We have issued such a serious document as a list of waste that cannot be disposed of», Dudareva said.


Russia is lagging behind technologically in waste recycling

«Russia has seriously fallen behind other European countries. Its territory makes up a sixth of our planet, and household waste as well as industrial waste, including hazardous waste, has simply been placed throughout this territory. For a long time, no one had come up with such a task that it nevertheless needs to be recycled», Kuzmin said.

Lack of a waste accounting system

«Accounting is one of our problem issues. Waste accounting was not a reflection of reality», Dudareva said.

Inefficient models for funding waste recycling

«Funding is the main problem in the implementation of such programmes. The models that have been used so far — that waste management is transferred to private hands, and the state only collects garbage collection fees — are gradually changing, fortunately», Partner at ECO Mondia Green Technology GmbH Christoph Schuerholz said.


Switching to a closed-loop economy is a must

«UNIDO is working on reducing the amount of waste so that as few dumps and landfills as possible appear», Suarez said.

«We must switch to a closed-loop cycle in which everything we produce, including what is waste today, is a product that we can process», Kuzmin said.

A systematic state approach to the problem of waste

«Working with waste and garbage should be [the job of the] state. Sure, with the involvement of an individual private partnership, but it should be under the control of the state», Kuzmin said.

«If the health of the nation is the top priority, then funding for programmes and projects from the state should not be ‘costly’. Sure, taxes for the population will increase, but at least the people will survive. Here we must choose: either we want to live, or we want to die in this garbage», Deputy General Director of the Russian Energy Agency under the Russian Ministry of Energy Zukhra Galperina said.

«I think it’s extremely important to create the necessary legislative framework. If we are talking only about individual contractors who are in no way part of the legislative system, then this is a dangerous situation to say the least», President of the Environmental Concepts Exchange Association (ECEXA) Gerhard Kiennast said.

Use of the best foreign and domestic practices

«Our main role is to integrate and ensure the presence of all the concerned players on the Russian market», Director of the UNIDO Center for International Industrial Cooperation in the Russian Federation Sergey Korotkov said.

«We would like to see foreign companies that are involved in our waste management system localize their production. This is one of the strategies in Russia [...] We have a chance to take all the best aspects and apply it», Dudareva said.

«Russia has a great chance because it has great technologies. It can also adopt ready-made recipes and avoid the mistakes we encountered», Senior Advisor with the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications of the Swiss Confederation and Vice-President of the Swiss Association for Environmental Technology Viktor Haefeli said.

«There is a lot that we Germans can learn from Russia. This is very important, especially in the current period», Pflüger International GmbH Chief Operating Officer Philipp Krakau said.

«Russia has an enormous amount of effective technologies. It’s another thing that they are at the level of patents, i.e. they have not been used in industrial production or are single options. If the state invests just a little bit of money in science and helps scientists realize their projects, it will be much cheaper than buying process lines abroad and much more effective», Galperina said.

A thorough approach to business models

«It is important to think about the quality of recycling. Any recycling requires energy and requires the necessary personnel. Clear calculations must be made. If the source material is too polluted, then recycling does not justify itself», Chief Executive Officer and Partner at IUT Waste Management Solutions and Chairman of the ÖNORM Committee on Reuse and Recycling of Waste Walter Scharf said.

Involving small and medium businesses in the solution to the problem

«Recycling can really be a big market in the future and a basis for development, including for small and medium-sized businesses», President of the Foundation for the Development of Public Diplomacy Women’s Perspective and UNIDO Goodwill Ambassador Veronica Peshkova said.