HAZARDOUS WASTES IN RUSSIA

Identification and management of hazardous waste sources

There is not much published information available on hazardous waste management or formation in Leningrad Oblast, the City of St Petersburg and Kaliningrad Oblast. The only information available are the annual waste reports to Rostechnadzor from companies subject to federal control. No comprehensive hazardous waste management strategy has been made for the regions in question.

Therefore, the picture of hazardous waste management is based on scattered published information, newspaper articles and interviews with the authorities.

The main challenges concerning hazardous waste management in the priority regions are related to the lack of environmentally sound hazardous waste treatment technology, lack of collection of hazardous waste and inefficient enforcement of legislation. Management capacity exists for mercury-containing waste (MCW) and waste oils, although their environmental performance is poorly known. The environmental authorities of the region have incomplete information on the amounts and types of hazardous waste being formed in the industries and their disposal, which in turn makes it difficult to improve hazardous waste management practices.

Rostechnadzor is reported to in matters concerning hazardous waste generation and storage. However, this information is not readily available. Detailed - though outdated - information is available only on formation of PCB and mercury-containing waste (ACAP 2003, ACAP 2005). More information on the types and quantities of hazardous waste produced in the regions needs to be obtained before being able to design financially sustainable and environmentally sound management facilities.

In Russia it is not required by law to collect hazardous waste separately from other waste from private citizens or households. Hence hazardous waste is not separately collected from households and therefore it is not possible to focus strictly on hazardous waste in this context. The hazardous waste generated in households and small enterprises can be expected to be disposed of in municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills. This, in turn, will complicate efforts to manage MSWs in an environmentally sound way, including the operation of the incineration plants planned for St Petersburg.

Nevertheless, the hazardous waste content in MSW landfills is unlikely to create a major pollution source for the Baltic Sea and will not be addressed as a primary source, unless the landfills are very large and located by a watercourse with access to the Baltic Sea, and unless there is specific information available on hazardous waste content.


City of St Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast (region)

St Petersburg
The City of St Petersburg has roughly five million inhabitants. The area is 600 km2, and with the administratively subordinated territories 1,439 km2. St Petersburg has a lot of industry: it is the second largest manufacturing centre of Russia after Moscow with many industrial activities producing hazardous waste. St Petersburg is the ship-building centre of Russia and has numerous metal-working, chemical, petrochemical and forest industry enterprises. Many of these fields of industry are commonly known to produce hazardous waste in their normal operation.

Leningrad Oblast
Leningrad region is large in area (27,560 km2) but relative small in population (1.27 million) compared to St Petersburg. The main industries are fuel, oil refining, forestry, pulp and paper, chemical production and engineering. There are several rivers discharging directly into the Gulf of Finland. Part of the oblast territory is catchment area of Lake Ladoga, which although being connected to the Gulf of Finland via the Neva River also can be considered to retain transport of substances to the Baltic Sea.


Priority hazardous waste sites
St Petersburg
Based on the information available on the contents and locations of the landfills and other sites where hazardous waste has been managed in St Petersburg, the most important sites were selected for further analysis (Figure 9). Some of the sites are located in the territory of Leningrad region, but since they are controlled by the St Petersburg authorities, they have been included in the St Petersburg inventory.


Seven priority sites are closed landfills, which either have been managed or are illegal. There is very little data on the contents of these dumps, some of which were closed as early as in the 1960s and 1970s. Especially very old dumping areas, operational prior to the Krasny Bor polygon, have a high potential of containing hazardous industrial waste. There were no monitoring data available on them. A good example of such a dump is Primorskaya, which was operational from the 1960s to the 1990s and is located close to a settlement. It does have leachate collection, but no treatment facility, therefore potentially polluting the Baltic Sea. According to the authorities the amount of leachate is very small.


Leningrad Oblast
The most important landfills and hazardous waste sites were selected based on the proposal of the Leningrad region administration and the limited information available on the contents and locations of the landfills and other sites where hazardous waste has been managed. In addition to landfills and dumps, some other activities producing significant amounts of hazardous waste were identified as priority areas for measures to reduce hazardous substances load.


As Leningrad region is a fairly large area, some efforts were made to analyse pollutant transport to the Gulf of Finland by zoning the region into separate drainage basins. The initial list of landfills proposed by the Leningrad administration was then further adjusted by taking into account that pollutants from certain districts will enter Lake Ladoga rather than the Gulf of Finland (as for instance Volkhov) and accumulate in the sediment.

St Petersburg and Leningrad landfills.
Interactive maps of data about landfills are located at the HELCOM Map and Data Service under Pollution -> Sources -> BALTHAZAR project -> BALTHAZAR Landfills".

Screening Results
The Program of screening was elaborated and coordinated with all interested parties.
Six landfills were selected for study in the Leningrad region:
1. Landfill 'Ust-Tosna'
2.Dumping area "Primorskaya"
3. MSW landfill "Novoselki"
4. MSW landfill "Volkhonka"
5. Industrial waste landfill in Gatchina town
6. MSW landfill in Gatchina town


More detailed screening results can be found in Screening Result report.
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Screening results in St Petersburg.
Interactive maps of data about landfills are located at the HELCOM Map and Data Service under Pollution -> Sources -> BALTHAZAR project -> BALTHAZAR Landfills screening results".

Kalingrad Oblast (region)
Kaliningrad region is the westernmost part of Russia, separated from the rest of the country. It has borders with Lithuania and Poland. The area is about 15,000 km² and the population amounts to approximately one million.


The main industries are machine construction, pulp and paper, food and fish, and light industry. Kaliningrad is famous for its amber, having 90% of the world's amber resources. Oil, brown coal and peat are the other main natural resources. The landscape is plain and characterised by several rivers that flow into the Baltic Sea. The Pregolja River is the main river whose catchment basin covers most of the oblast area.


Priority hazardous waste sites
The most important landfills and hazardous waste sites were selected based on the proposal of Kaliningrad region administration and on environmental risks.


According to the local authorities, none of the landfills contains industrial waste of hazard class I or II. Most of the priority landfills are large by volume. Eight of the ten landfills are active and managed and two are closed. The oldest started operations in the 1960s and the youngest in 1991.

Seven of the priority landfills are located in the western part of KO near the Baltic Sea. These large landfills with no or inefficient leachate collection have close connection to the Baltic Sea. By far the biggest is the Kosmodemyanskogo landfill of the City of Kaliningrad with annual disposal volumes of nearly one million tonnes. Three other priority landfills are also located in the catchment areas of the main rivers.

Kaliningrad landfills.
Interactive maps of data about landfills are located at the HELCOM Map and Data Service under Pollution ->
Sources -> BALTHAZAR project -> BALTHAZAR Landfills".