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NimiAgainst Waste: Activate Research and Education
YhteyshenkilöUlla Santti
KuvausOverall objective of the project is to maintain and preserve the fresh water reservoirs and the sea clean and to attract tourists and new inhabitants with pure and clean environment.

Specific objective of the project is to increase residents awareness of both serious environmental threats and with the economic potential associated with recyclable waste in St Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. Additionally to give knowledge support for the local authorities for their decision making in waste management and recovery. And finally to help St. Petersburg / Leningrad Region people to more actively participating in circular economy activities.
KehittämistarveOn the territory of the Russian Federation, there is currently over 90 billion tons of cumulated solid waste. As a result of huge waste flows, the area occupied by landfills is already the size of a small European country such as Switzerland. Everywhere, poor waste management is already making a negative impact on the environment, and this impact is expected to increase dramatically in the future as more and more products are wrapped in plastics and made to be discarded after use. In the Leningrad Region and the city of St. Petersburg, this impact is stronger than in many other places, because almost all existing landfills are already overfilled, and at the same time, only ca 10% of the solid municipal waste is recycled (and thus prevented from going into a landfill). To make things worse, the Leningrad region is subjected to 10-fold influxes of population in the summer months resulting in increased dumping in green areas and at the roadsides. There is also an acute problem of illegal waste dumps; in 2014 alone the removal costs those were ca 66 mln RUR (roughly 1,1 million EUR in 2014 currency rates).

One of the central problems of waste management in Russia in general and in the Leningrad Region in
particular is that the recycling and repurposing potential of material considered being waste and the
real monetary value of the usable items and material wasted is not recognised by the society. As a
simple example, people would not put used objects into waste bins, if they could get a reward for
delivering recyclable waste to a collection point. Part of the problem is that many people do not
understand that the objects they perceive as waste, might actually have value, from which they
personally and then the society could benefit. Landfills can be seen by talented entrepreneurs as
open-air goldmines; one just need to know what is his/her gold. So in short, from the project partners point of view, the partners believe that the failure to recognize the potential of waste is largely due to: (1) the lack of knowledge about its economic value, (2) the lack of knowledge about the business opportunities in waste management and recycling, and (3) the lack of environmental awareness and understanding the danger of poor waste management.

The increasing demand for healthy and safe environment is recognized by the CBC South-East Finland
- Russia together with the need to educate population in practical solutions to environmental
problems arising from poor waste management. In particular, Priority 3 (Attractive, clean environment
and region) has two indicative actions directly addressing the need for better environmental education
and business development in waste management: (1) promoting research, planning, and education in
the fields of the environment, resource efficiency, eco-efficiency, environmental audit schemes, and
sustainable development; and (2) improving systems of waste management, incl. the development of a
network of companies specializing in waste management and processing.
Toimenpiteet(1) Promote research into sustainable options of waste management and different investment options
for better technological solutions in the Leningrad Region and in the city of St Petersburg, by using
both standard and novel methodological approaches. This improved knowledge will support policy
and decision making in waste management and recovery; contribute to the development of new
educational programs for university students; and used to develop environmental awareness
campaigns for the population of the Leningrad Region and St Petersburg.

(2) Share the existing knowledge and experience of EU/Finland in the field of sustainable
environmental management with Russian university staff and students, municipal authorities and
general public, through educational materials, presentations in local schools, public lectures, partner
visits and information materials.

(3) Enhance university education through the development of intensive course modules revealing the
business models in different waste management areas whereby students will learn how to tap into
economic opportunities in the field of waste management and repurposing, by organising training
events in the form of Summer/Winter camps for university students.

(4) Increase environmental awareness, disseminate knowledge about sustainable municipal solid
waste management and promote recycling, by creating a strong online presence, through participation
in conferences and exhibitions, by giving public lectures, organising public events, conferences, and by
communicating project findings through other information channels including mass media.

(5) Look into the resources we as educational and research units already have to offer the possibilities
that we can deliver right now, without any delays to those who are interested. For example LUT has
its rabid prototyping Jamie Hyneman Center, FTU has its green houses and lands and facilities,
Savonia has lots of technical tools for innovation support (e.g. their INTO-tool) and UITD is locally
know best for their industrial technologies and design specialisations which together are currently (e.g.
user centric design) the thing that drives new tech faster into markets than anything else. (6) Bring together companies (like Sensire, LCA Consulting, Etelä-Karjalan Jätehuolto, L&T, Proximio.io etc.) and specialist from different sectors within the project framework to promote research, planning, and education in the fields of the environmental management, resource efficiency, eco-efficiency and sustainable development, by organizing conference and workshops, and presenting the project at public events organised by other institutions.