Poor Garbage Disposal Makes Kyiv Among Dirtiest Of Cities
KIEV, Ukraine -- When you think of Kyiv, do you think of glistening golden domes and chestnut-lined streets, or do you think of a city sprinkled with garbage, a dirty Dnipro River running through it and choking air pollution?
Kyiv is the 26th dirtiest city in the world among 215 surveyed, according to a Quality of Life report released in April by Mercer Human Resources Consulting, which ranked Ukraine’s capital just after Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Distinguishing Kyiv from other cities was its insufficient garbage disposal system, which did not please local government officials.
Kyiv’s sanitation system, and its efficiency, “is positive,” said Mykhaylo Shparyk, director of the city’s Communal Management Administration (CMA).
About 3,670 tons of garbage are produced daily in the Ukrainian capital, amounting to more than 1.5 million tons annually, according to the CMA.
About 30 percent of waste goes to Landfill Number Five near the village of Pidhirka on the city outskirts, and 20 percent is taken to a wasteincinerator plant called Enerhiya.
The rest is hauled to other garbage dumps in the Kyiv oblast, said Shparyk.
But critics of Kyiv’s waste management system believe not enough is being done to solve the garbage problem.
“Everything that isn’t sent to either Landfill Number Five or the other dumps is somewhere on the streets,” said William Nosach, head of Ecoterm, an environmental management firm.
As a result of insufficient garbage disposal and waste storage policies, city dumps cover hundreds of hectares — they fume, smoke, and contaminate the earth, air and water.
A bouquet of the strongest poisons and toxins are fermented in the dumps, Nosach said, including dioxin.
The best way to solve the waste problem in Kyiv is to attract foreign companies to come in and put them completely in charge of the garbage business, said Oleh Soskin, head of the Institute of Society Transformation in Kyiv.
“It is necessary that there isn’t any misappropriation of funds, and for there to be a division between those in the City Administration who form the laws, and those who execute them,” he said.
The total cost of this garbage initiative would cost $1 billion, and it would take about two to three years to develop, Soskin said.
“But the most effective measure would be to invite strong teams from abroad to come in and manage the garbage,” he said. “If we do this, in three years time we’ll have a wellformed waste recycling system.”
So far, the only recycling effort has involved separating food waste from hard waste in an attempt to reduce garbage.
To accommodate that, the Kyiv City Administration said it bought 2,000 new dumpsters for 5 million hryvnia.
“This is an economically justified technology which enables not only recycling of waste, but also partly solves the garbage problem,” said Anatoliy Holubchenko, the first assistant chair of the Kyiv City Administration.
However, the effectiveness of these measures is doubtful, said Soskin. This garbage fight has to be consistent and changes have to take place on all levels, he said.
“This won’t bring good results immediately,” he said. “At first, there must be factories that process the garbage, and then a separate waste collection system should be promoted, including information campaigns at schools and kindergartens. The media should start teaching people how to dispose of their garbage correctly.”
Overall, the government’s attitude towards the garbage problems hasn’t changed, Nosach said, as it is still disposing of it in the least expensive way.
The Quality of Life Report released by Mercer Human Resources Consulting in April compared 215 cities based on air pollution, water, waste management, hospital services, medical supplies and existence of infectious disease.
The dirtiest city in the world is Baku, Azerbaijan, and the cleanest was the Canadian city of Calgary, the report said.
The second dirtiest city was Dhaka, Bangladesh, followed by Antananarivo, Madagascar. The fourth and fifth dirtiest cities were Port au Prince, Haiti and Mexico City, Mexico.
Source: Kyiv Post