Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




FROTH AND BUBBLE
Olympics: Illegal dump tarnishes 'green' Sochi Games
by Staff Writers
Sochi, Russia (AFP) Feb 24, 2013


Away from the construction bustle of Sochi's Olympic Park, where Russia will host the Winter Olympics next February, residents of a small community north of central Sochi have seen only the filthy side of preparations.

Uch-Dere, a village about 40 kilometres up the Black Sea coast from the Olympic Park, is the site of greater Sochi's only waste site.

And despite years of promises to close it as part of the Sochi Olympics environmental programme, locals fight a nightly war with illegal dump trucks that bring garbage from all over the city.

"Just when the Olympic preparations began, we started having this problem," said Khamsat Kravchenko, a resident and activist in Uch-Dere. "Waste began to be brought here from the entire Sochi area."

Locals of Uch-Dere and three other villages have complained about the health hazards, but the pile of trash just kept growing. Despite a new waste treatment plant built under the Olympic plan in Sochi, many of trucks still unload trash less than 200 metres from the nearest houses.

What before was a small compost pit in the valley used by local farmers is now a site of over 12 hectares, a 50-metre-high mountain of waste with trucks and people moving about ant-like on its stinking plateau.

Lack of insulation or walls around it leads to constant erosion while the dark-brown stream running through the area delivers pollutants straight to the Black Sea shore one kilometre away, where several health resorts are located.

Russian authorities have proclaimed the 2014 Winter Games "green", and vouched to solve the Black Sea coast's waste problem. In June, Sochi's mayor declared the dump closed, and regional authorities announced a programme to turn it into a park.

But with one year to go before the Games, no work appeared to have been done. Instead, dump trucks kept arriving on a recent morning, and the giant heap smouldered even on a rainy day.

-- 'The problem of waste is solved' --

One hundred years ago, Uch-Dere, a spectacular cape on Russia's Black Sea coast covered by lush greenery, was picked by the Russian tsarist family for dachas.

Maria Feodorovna, the mother of Russia's last tsar Nicholas II, built a special resort for the country's orphaned girls there in 1913. The building was later made into a Soviet tuberculosis clinic.

Today the dump sits only about 1.5 kilometres away from the clinic, scaring tourists away from the beach below and raising fears about the potential health dangers for its 10,000 residents.

"I don't understand how it could come to this," Kravchenko said, raising fears of a link to two recent child cancer cases.

"Why can't the city sort the waste, as it's done in civilised countries?".

When asked by AFP about Sochi's waste problem at a press conference this month, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak denied its existence.

"The problem of household waste is currently solved," he said. "We decided to transport all waste away from the coast as part of the Olympic programme," he said, adding that it ends up at a special "waste processing plant" in Belorechensk, a town over 100 kilometres away.

"As far as illegal dumps," Kozak added, "we need for the regional enforcement agencies to be effective."

Locals however say police have threatened to prosecute them when they complained. When they held a protest last year, several people were arrested.

A report on Krasnodar region's Channel 9 from Belorechensk this week indicated that there was no sorting plant there, as Kozak said. Instead, waste from Sochi was simply dumped at the local landfill.

"The site is not fit for such volumes of waste," a municipal official in Belorechensk told the channel, while locals in the report were putting together a petition to turn the trucks back to Sochi.

On the website of the Sochi Organising Committee, the "Zero waste" programme promises an "up-to-date system of waste management", "non-waste technologies", and recycling even before preparation for the Games is complete.

"Zero waste means that all waste produced during the Games is treated on-site," said Organising Committee chief Dmitry Chernyshenko this month. "But we go much further in our environmental responsibilities."

-- 'Before, there were apple orchards' --

Standing near the dump, another local, Akop Sunguryan, said he was tired of the empty promises.

"It's covered by 50 metres of waste now, but before there were apple orchards, water springs, my father's cows grazed there, everything was there," Sunguryan said emotionally pointing at the vast stretches of the dump below his village.

While tourism is the main source of income for people with coastal properties, Sunguryan's community, about one kilometre from the sea, relies mostly on farming. It has no gas supply, so people heat their houses with firewood. Sunguryan earns a living by growing daffodils and making wine.

One year ago, his and other small villages surrounding the dump pooled their resources and hired one of Russia's best-known lawyers Genrikh Padva, who represented jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and former defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov.

In June a district court ruled that the city must take trash out of Uch-Dere before the ruined landscape is restored by the end of 2012.

But the waste trucks just keep rolling in.

.


Related Links
Our Polluted World and Cleaning It Up






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





FROTH AND BUBBLE
China admits pollution-linked 'cancer villages'
Beijing (AFP) Feb 22, 2013
China's environment ministry has acknowledged the existence of "cancer villages", after years of assertions by academics and domestic media that polluted areas experience higher rates of the disease. The use of the term in an official report, thought to be unprecedented, comes as authorities face growing discontent over industrial waste, hazardous smog and other environmental and health cons ... read more


FROTH AND BUBBLE
Rio meet focuses on using science to root out poverty

British PM sparks concern with aid budget proposals

Swiss Re posts 61% profit rise in 2012

Four guilty of manslaughter in Italy quake trial

FROTH AND BUBBLE
A Semiconductor 'Nano-Shish-Kebabs' With 3-D Potential

That's the way the droplets adhere

Acoustic-assisted magnetic information storage

DARPA Seeks to Defuse the Threat of Ionizing Radiation

FROTH AND BUBBLE
EU fisheries council tackles discard ban

Wiring the ocean

Abandoned Russian ship located 2,400 km from Ireland

Research shows pollution doesn't change the rate of droplet formation

FROTH AND BUBBLE
Frostbite ends Fiennes winter Antarctic expedition bid

Reduced sea ice disturbs balance of greenhouse gases

Flow of research on ice sheets helps answer climate questions

Extreme winters impact fish negatively

FROTH AND BUBBLE
Bees attracted to contrasting colors when looking for nectar

Anthropologist studies cattle ranchers in Brazilian Amazon

Thirsty crops and hungry people: Symposium to examine realities of water security

Experimental vaccine offers improved protection for poultry

FROTH AND BUBBLE
Earthquake shakes buildings in Tokyo

Australia's iron ore centre braces for Cyclone Rusty

Thousands isolated by Australian floodwaters

Gold gifts mystify tsunami-wracked Japan city

FROTH AND BUBBLE
Regional leaders sign peace deal for eastern DR Congo

Guinea soldiers quit I.Coast village in border dispute

Rising Islamist threat in West Africa

Life expectancy surges in AIDS-hit SAfrican region

FROTH AND BUBBLE
Stay cool and live longer?

Zuckerberg, Brin join forces to extend life

Thick hair mutation emerged 30,000 years ago in humans

Tiny mutation had big evolutionary impact




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement