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22 Jun. 2023

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A trillion UAH damage: how Ukraine plans to dispose of war-torn garbage

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A trillion UAH damage: how Ukraine plans to dispose of war-torn garbage

Ukraine's environment is facing a significant challenge - the growth in waste generation has become the largest in the history of independence, and the damage caused by land pollution has reached almost a trillion hryvnias. Find out how the Ukrainian government plans to tackle the problem

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In Ukraine, due to russian aggression, there has been a significant increase in the amount of construction waste generated by the fighting. The volume of waste is measured in hundreds of thousands of tons. How Ukraine plans to dispose of the waste and what damage has already been done to the environment is described below.


It should be noted that due to the full-scale war in Ukraine, construction waste is filling up legal and illegal landfills faster than household waste, as it consists of bulky and heavy materials. This was reported by the Epravda portal.


Some waste contains toxic substances that pollute the air, soil, and groundwater. According to estimates by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, the estimated environmental damage caused by land contamination exceeds UAH 900 billion.


Pollution in Ukraine during the war


According to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, over the course of almost a year and a half of the war, russians have damaged and destroyed nearly 60,000 objects. Residential buildings have suffered the most - 48 thousand buildings.


As of early summer, the amount of construction waste in Ukraine amounted to 450 thousand tons.


The list of regions with the largest accumulation of debris is as follows:


 Kyiv region;

 Zhytomyr region;

 Sumy region;

 Mykolaiv region;

 Kherson region;

 Chernihiv  region;

 Kharkiv region.


In Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, this calculation is complicated.


"Kyiv region alone generated 185 thousand tons of waste. The components include concrete, brick, facing tiles, ceramics, wood, glass, plastics, insulation materials, asbestos-containing building materials," said Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Viktoriia Kireeva.




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How is the waste going to be disposed of?


It is worth noting that there are three ways to deal with construction waste: burial, recycling or reuse. So far, the first two methods prevail in Ukraine.


In Kyiv region, 48 temporary storage sites for construction waste have been set up. The total area of these sites is 55 hectares, which is equal to the area of 77 football fields.


Burying garbage is a bad idea because the waste contains many harmful materials that dissolve and leach into groundwater. Also, construction debris from the fighting is full of toxic particles of gunpowder, electronics, and batteries.


At the same time, much of the debris can be used for further reconstruction of the country. For now, the priority is to organize work in the regions.


According to the government's plans, in the near future, Ukraine wants to reduce immediate risks to human health and the environment. In the long term, the authorities intend to focus on developing an environmentally friendly green economy.


In addition, last year the government approved the "Procedure for Waste Management Generated by Damage (Destruction) of Buildings and Structures as a Result of Hostilities, Terrorist Acts, Sabotage or Works to Eliminate Their Consequences." This document regulates waste management issues and complies with EU regulations.


We remind you! After the occupiers blew up the Kakhovka dam, Ukraine is experiencing one of the worst environmental disasters since the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion. Read here how the tragedy in the Kherson region will affect the country's ecology.




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