Throughout its history of development, mankind has been faced with the problems of environmental pollution, and for millennia has been looking for ways to solve these problems.
The pioneers are the Japanese, who began to technologically approach the issue of waste disposal in the 11th century. The accumulated experience of the most thorough sorting and constantly developing technologies allowed the Japanese to solve the "garbage problem" by 90%. Europe embarked on the path of technology in the 17th century.
The desire of modern people to preserve the integrity of the environment for future generations has changed the attitude towards consumption. More and more people are choosing "low-waste" as their motto. At the highest level of government, the issues of environmental preservation, rational processing and disposal of waste are raised. The experience applied in the world shows that mankind has become able not only to dispose of solid waste, but to use the garbage accumulated for decades to generate electricity and even teach bacteria to reduce plastic.
Back in the 2000s, my partners and I, when traveling to European countries, paid attention to how they organize garbage collection. The media more and more often read articles about the fact that it is possible to produce consumer goods and even electricity from waste. And then we turned to the economic side of the issue, it turned out that this is a very profitable business. In Russia 10 years ago, the main topic in the field of waste management was the move away from spontaneous landfills and the transition to the civilization of this segment. We, as entrepreneurs, understood that everyone was thinking about how to bury the trash (= money), and this is fundamentally the wrong approach.
Today, about 85% of all waste is recycled in the Schengen countries. The leader is Sweden, which not only recycles 100% of waste, but also buys waste from other countries for further processing into electricity.
Our neighbors managed to achieve such indicators as a result of joint work of the state and business to create a whole ecosystem within the state, consisting of factories for various purposes, verified technologies and people in whom the culture of waste management has been nurtured for decades.
Environmental engineering is a set of purposeful actions, the result of which is the creation of a system of production facilities in order to minimize damage in the field of environmental protection. This is the official definition adopted in the global sectoral scientific community. How is this segment organized in Europe today?
In simpler terms, eco-engineering is a process that must achieve the same cyclical nature as we all know the water cycle in nature, namely: a product is produced - used - thrown away - sorted - processed - another product is produced.
Moreover, it is a system of relations between the state, the scientific community, private business and citizens. All production facilities - landfill management, sorting and processing stations, manufacturing companies from secondary raw materials, generating companies, are entrepreneurs who also, in cooperation with the scientific community, improve the applied technologies. Citizens and enterprises of other industries are both the main producers of waste and, perhaps, the main participants in the primary sorting of waste. The state, firstly, is responsible for stimulating the creation and smooth operation of an eco-engineering system, including the formation of a favorable investment climate. Secondly, the state is the regulator of legal relations within the market and between participants.
This cycle is an entirely economic process.According to the conclusions of the European Commission, a cyclical economy based on multiple recycling of waste allows you to save a large amount of money without harming the environment.
The Netherlands made a real breakthrough in waste management 10 years ago. Today only 5% of waste is sent to landfills there. The state had to become a leader in the efficiency of technology application and construction of waste disposal and recycling logistics, since the waste problem in the country has reached a critical point - there is simply no room left for new landfills. And those that were, did harm to the environment, including fumes from landfill gas. The territory of the Netherlands - 41.5 thousand sq. km, which is home to 17, 5 million people. For comparison, the area of the Ryazan region is 40 thousand square meters. km, on which a little more than 1, 1 million people live.
The technology of reclamation and degassing (Multriwell) of landfills developed by them made it possible to return land plots previously used for landfills into circulation and further development for the purpose of human life - entertainment and sports parks, golf courses, even the construction of residential settlements, all this became possible after a few years after the closure of the landfill.
It took this small European country about 30 years to form an ecosystem. Today, the recycling industry in the Netherlands is completely in private hands, but under constant and close control by the state, whose representatives come with checks almost every week. All waste processing companies, and there are many of them on the territory of a small state, are extremely open and transparent.
Russia has already embarked on the path of conscious consumption and revision of behavioral standards in relation to waste. Of course, the construction of waste processing plants and the introduction of innovative technologies for the handling of solid waste, which is impossible in the modern world, are to be built.
And my partners and I became, in fact, pioneers. And then they immediately decided for ourselves and our future business - we want to create a company that will exist precisely in the coordinate system of eco-engineering technologies. That is how our ship was named - the Center for Waste Processing Technologies.
Having become the operators of the Yadrovo landfill, we created at this facility a “showroom” of all the technologies we had mastered: reclamation, sealing and degassing of the landfill and, most importantly, electricity generation.
Thanks to our Dutch colleagues, who once developed the degassing technology, today in the Volokolamsk region, complete sanitary and epidemiological safety is ensured for residents of nearby settlements and landfill employees. This is the first large-scale example of such technology being used in Russia.
The next practical stage is the introduction of Swedish technology for the production of electricity from landfill gas. The volume of landfill gas that we receive from 5 hectares of landfill during the year will be enough to provide electricity to the settlement of up to 2000 residents. Thus, we become participants in the process of introducing alternative sources of electricity in Russia. And with this event we close the ecological cycle. From the moment when our electricity goes to the homes of residents of the Moscow region or to enterprises, we can rightfully be considered an established eco-engineering company in Russia.
Of course, so far these are isolated cases for the industry. The situation at the Russian landfills leaves much to be desired. To facilitate the process of replication of good practices, it is necessary at the state level to set goals for the creation of safe storage and recycling of waste and to ensure the transparency of their implementation on the ground.The early implementation of global eco-engineering standards will contribute to economic growth and the development of new business models, as well as create new jobs.