Russian Federation: Waste separation and collection in the village of Pasha

Posted on 15 Nov, 2016 by GFA

GFA Bridges has financed a project related to separate waste collection in the village of Pasha, which has about 4,000 inhabitants and is located 175 km away from St. Petersburg in Russia. Efficient waste management is one of the most pressing environmental issues in the Russian Federation, and gains particular importance in rural areas. The farther away from large cities, the more challenging it is to deal with waste collection and disposal. The current system of waste disposal at landfills is not working efficiently, which results in illegal dump sites and pollutes otherwise picturesque rural landscapes, and the recyclable materials are not recovered and not brought back to use. The residents of Pasha and the local authorities have supported the idea of introducing separate waste collection in the village, but the establishment of such a system requires significant financial investments, which are not available at the local level.  

The project, built upon the previous related initiatives of the Pasha community, has allowed creation of the minimum infrastructure required for a functioning separate waste collection system. Two container sites for separate waste collection have been installed and are regularly controlled, and two large-scale exports of recyclables for processing have already been organized. At the same time, the project supported establishment and equipment of a school-based environmental education centre. This allows continuous awareness raising on waste management, targeting different social and age groups among the villagers. Within the project timeframe, 27 events (lessons, clean-up actions with separate collection of recyclable materials, competitions, meetings and celebrations) have been organized and conducted. As a result, more than 300 local residents have either switched to separation of waste or have at least been contributed to it on the irregular basis.

The project has been initiated and implemented with the significant support of a team of local volunteers, who in turn mobilized local organizations and broader public. The goal of the local community running the project is to become independent from external funding in the future, and to make a significant contribution to solving environmental problems in the village. The proceeds from recyclable materials have been invested into further development of the separate waste collection system in Pasha.

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The project was supported by Irina Kozban, GFA Consultant/Natural Resources Management, in cooperation with the local environmental specialist Elena Gretchina.