Staunton, Dec. 15 – In 2019, the Russian government announced a program for the construction of new trash dumps and processing facilities far from major cities given that existing facilities in many places were both overwhelmed by the inflow of new trash and the lack of modernized processing systems.
The program was supposed to be implemented by the end of this year, but now Moscow, facing both popular opposition in many places to any new dumps and budgetary stringencies has announced that the program will be completed only by the end of 2025 (sovsekretno.ru/articles/obshchestvo/zhdet-li-nas-musornyy-kollaps111222/).
But many experts doubt that the authorities are taking any steps that will in fact allow for the program to be completed even then and are predicting that the Russian Federation now faces “a trash crisis” that will not only overwhelm existing dumps but create serious health problems and social explosions.
According to Olga Zamoskvoretskaya of Sovershenno Sekretno, the government has ignored local protests until they gain widespread attention and then tries to suppress them or move the dumps from one place to another. But its monopolistic approach to the issue means it fails to take local attitudes into account and thus ensures there will be more problems ahead.
That suggests that trash could be a trigger for more social protest on a scale that would make the Shiyes demonstrations of the past look like child’s play, protests that would begin in one or another region but rapidly link up across the country because the government’s failures in this area have made what should be a local issue an all-Russian one.