"Russia Breaks 'Zero Waste' Olympic Pledge"

As a centerpiece of its bid to hold the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia boldly promised a "Zero Waste" program. State-owned companies are already systematically and publicly violating that pledge.

"AKHSHTYR, Russia -- Trucks rumble to the edge of a gigantic pit filled with spray cans, tires and foam sheets and dump a stream of concrete slabs that send up a cloud of limestone dust. Other trucks pile clay on top and a bulldozer mixes everything together in a rudimentary effort to hide the mess. This landfill outside Sochi, which will host the Winter Olympics in 100 days, is smack in the middle of a water protection zone where dumping industrial waste is banned.

As a centerpiece of its Olympic bid, Russia trumpeted a 'Zero Waste' program that promised the cleanest games ever, saying it would refrain from dumping construction waste and rely on reusable materials. But on a visit last week to Akhshtyr, just north of Sochi, The Associated Press found that Russia's state-owned rail monopoly is dumping tons of construction waste into what authorities call an illegal landfill, raising concerns of possible contamination in the water that directly supplies Sochi.

The finding shows how little Russia has done to fulfill its ambitious green pledges. Its $51 billion budget for the Olympics contains no provisions for treating construction waste."

Nataliya Vasilyeva reports for the Associated Press October 30, 2013.

Source: AP, 10/30/2013