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In April, Greenpeace Russia sent a 15-strong delegation to Mordovia where they visited REMONDIS’ branch in Saransk. The Greenpeace members from Moscow and Saint Petersburg were accompanied by a number of journalists from Saint Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod specialising in the field of environmental protection. Two MPs from Dzerzhinsk Duma joined the group and were also clearly impressed by the methods used to segregate waste in Saransk.
Set up by REMONDIS almost three years ago, the waste segregation system in Saransk has become part of the city’s everyday life with the local inhabitants now separating their different waste streams as a matter of course. Unfortunately, Mordovia is still one of only a very small number of regions in the Russian Federation to have developed an infrastructure that enables locals to separate their waste. A very good reason, therefore, for Greenpeace to visit REMONDIS’ branch to see the environmental benefits of such systems with their own eyes.
Over 500 containers with yellow lids have been distributed around the city of Saransk for disposing of old paper and plastics. On average, each inhabitant produces over 300kg of residual waste every year. Environmental pollution has also dropped considerably since this system was introduced. A special programme was organised for the visitors that included a presentation of the waste segregation project, a tour around the city to see the waste drop-off points and the recyclables sorting plant. With one of the aims of this trip being to exchange experiences, the delegation of experts also attended an event at the 36th school in the City of Saransk that focused on the subject of environmental protection. Pupils from Years 1 to 4 had prepared some interesting performances, scientific speeches and a few creative surprises on the subject. Teaching kindergarten and primary school children about environmental matters is also a particularly important subject in Russia.
Swetlana Bigesse, CEO, REMONDIS International, promotes recycling across the Russian Federation
News about the good work being carried out by REMONDIS in Russia is obviously getting around as well – as could be seen by the visit of the Deputy Minister of Building Industry and HCA of the Russian Federation, Mr Andrey Tchibis, this July. The minister first travelled with his delegation of ministerial staff and experts to the AVG waste incineration plant in Cologne, one of REMONDIS’ public private partnership businesses. Tilo Dumuscheit, AVG’s press officer, Michael J. Schneider, REMONDIS’ press officer, and Dr Thomas Rummler from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety explained the benefits of public private partnerships for large-scale municipal waste management projects. The following day, Mr Tchibis visited the REMONDIS Lippe Plant where he was able to see for himself just how effective and efficient the private recycling sector can be. The message to the Russian partners: it is well worth it to set up a resource-friendly recycling industry as it not only protects human health, the environment and the climate but also helps safeguard future supplies of raw materials.
The Russian delegation with Andrey Tchibis, Deputy Minister of Building Industry and HCA of the Russian Federation (centre left), and Swetlana Bigesse, CEO Russia, REMONDIS International (centre right)