By 2023, the landfill in the Vsevolozhsk district of the Leningrad region was to be mothballed and liquidated. But until now, having worked out its resources in terms of the tonnage of waste and the area of their disposal, the huge landfill continues to “please” the local population with the specific smells of household waste. In addition, CJSC Promothody, the landfill manager, suddenly changed its general director and main beneficiary.
Andrey Bespalchenko became the new general director of CJSC Promothody, instead of Vladimir Shmatov. At the same time, the change of leadership took place with actively spreading rumors about the change of the main shareholders of Promothodov. Previously, the main owner of the company was Yuri Likhachev. Now journalists name one of the beneficiaries of the company the Deputy Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the North-Western Federal District Vadim Potomsky.
According to the interlocutors of the St. Petersburg edition, the new owner will want to resume receiving municipal waste at Severnaya Samarka and will seek to return the facility to the territorial waste management scheme. The same fears are expressed by local residents.
Since 2022, the landfill has been excluded from the territorial scheme for the disposal of municipal solid waste, only construction industrial waste and soils are allowed to be accepted. But the reception of MSW continues after this decision.
“Thaw, stinks regularly”
Such and similar comments were left on social networks by residents of a gardening partnership located next to the landfill in January 2022. Although, we recall, from January 1, Sulfur Samarka was not supposed to accept municipal waste. It is possible that the reaction of the population caused an inspection of CJSC Promotkhody by the North-Western Interregional Department of Rosprirodnadzor.
On January 12, 2022, the North-Western Department of Rosprirodnadzor sent a request to the Leningrad Region Prosecutor’s Office to conduct an unscheduled inspection of CJSC Promotkhody. The environmental police of the Leningrad region immediately began to stir. The eco-police and eco-surveillance officers carried out a check-up raid on the “Northern Samarka”. Based on its results, the inspectors confirmed that within only 40 minutes, 23 garbage trucks “with obvious signs of production and consumption waste” drove into the landfill. A week later, after numerous checks, only 12 garbage trucks drove to the landfill in 1.5 hours, 6 of them were empty.
On January 19, 2022, the North-Western Department of Rosprirodnadzor filed a lawsuit with the Arbitration Court of the Leningrad Region against Promothody CJSC to ban waste disposal at Severnaya Samarka and recultivate the facility. The department tried to prove that the capacities of the “Northern Samarka” had already been exhausted. To no avail.
And who are the judges?
And this is not the first loss of the control body to “garbage” businessmen. Back in April 2020, the department applied to the Arbitration Court of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region to bring CJSC Promotkhody to administrative responsibility due to violations of the terms of waste management. The judge denied the claim. From the commentary of Rosprirodnadzor to the St. Petersburg resource: “The court considered that the conclusions of the supervisory agency about the depletion of the capacities of the landfill are untenable, since the altitude indicators of the landfill (50 meters or more), as well as the indicators of the volume of waste stored on it, are not standardized by legal acts and refer to variables values that can be repeatedly reviewed during the current operation of the landfill”.
The only “success” of Rosprirodnadzor can be considered a court decision in the summer of 2020, when Promotkhody CJSC was fined some 50 thousand rubles for misrepresenting environmental information, and the landfill was suspended for 3 months.
In 2022, the plaintiff lost the case in two instances, but at the beginning of 2023, the cassation returned him for consideration to the Arbitration Court of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. The next meeting is scheduled for August 2023.
The height of a 20-storey building
The Northern Samarka landfill was designed in 1971, and in 1974 it was put into operation. According to the design capacity, the landfill could receive 1 million cubic meters of garbage per year. The total area allocated for the landfill was 61 hectares with an estimated life of 20 years and a planned “capacity” of 20 million cubic meters of garbage. According to a local publication, even after 30 years – by 2005-2006 – only 38 hectares were developed at Samarka.
But the service life has already exceeded not even the planned 20, but 30 years. Therefore, according to one of the clauses of the land lease agreement, Promothody CJSC was supposed to start recultivating the landfill since 2007. But when the administration of the Vsevolozhsky district filed a lawsuit to oblige the company to develop a reclamation project, the court dismissed the claim, considering that the claim was filed by the Administration prematurely, since the facility had not yet exhausted its resource.
But by 2019, it became clear that the volume of waste taken to the landfill had already significantly exceeded the estimated amount, reaching 26.5 million cubic meters. By weight, this is 5.8 million tons (according to other sources – 7.7 million tons). The height of the landfill reached 50(!) meters. According to local ecologists, the garbage heap is already visible from some areas of St. Petersburg, it poisons the life of the nearest settlements for kilometers around.
By the way, according to journalists, the horticultural partnership closest to the range is the house of the People’s Artist of the USSR Edita Piekha. Her reaction to the “smelling” atmosphere is unknown, but the singer is hardly satisfied.
Recycling be or…
According to St. Petersburg ecologists, the land lease agreement with CJSC Promotkhody is valid until June 30, 2023. But then the general director suddenly changes at the enterprise. We repeat, Andrey Bespalchenko became the new head of Promothodov. The journalists of Delovoy Peterburg connected his appointment with the change of the main beneficiary of Promotkhodov, who, as they suggest, is none other than the deputy plenipotentiary representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the North-Western Federal District Vadim Potomsky.
Further, the publication writes that in April of this year, Andrey Bespalchenko registered Eco City Group LLC in St. Petersburg, the main activity of which is the processing and disposal of hazardous waste. And most recently, in June, he also creates, apparently, a clone of the first LLC – City-Group Eco LLC with the same type of activity.
The question arises: why such significant movements in the CJSC “Promothody” itself and in general around the topic of landfills for domestic and industrial waste? At least two assumptions can be made here.
Firstly. It has already been said above that the land lease agreement with CJSC Promotkhody is valid until June 30, 2023. Are the new general director and beneficiary of CJSC going to “push through” the further operation of the Northern Samarka landfill, despite the complaints of the population?
Secondly, the activities of two LLCs created by Andrey Bespalchenko – Eco City-Group and Eco City-Group – are the processing and disposal of hazardous waste. It can be assumed that, thanks to a strong patron, contracts for possible reclamation and disposal of the landfill will go to these enterprises.