Russian denies waste problems at Olympic sites

Sochi, April 2 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia has denied that it is failing to dispose of construction waste properly as it prepares for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The government’s denial came following Greenpeace’s complaint to the International Olympic Committee last month, saying Russia was failing to meet its obligations to implement the Zero Waste principles during Olympics-related construction.

“All measures to realise the Zero Waste principle have been being implemented and are being implemented,” deputy prime minister Dmitry Kozak said Monday.

Waste from construction sites in Sochi is currently being buried in the nearby town of Belorechensk, said Kozak, who is in charge of preparation for next year’s Winter Games in the sub-tropical city.

The buried waste will later be processed at a recycling facility in Belorechensk that is currently under construction, Kozak said. “There are no problems with that.”

Officials at Greenpeace Russia dismissed Kozak’s claim that the country was on track to implement Zero Waste in Sochi.

“He seems to be confused, because Zero Waste has got nothing to do with the waste removal he is talking about,” said Ivan Blokov, campaign director for Greenpeace Russia.

Zero Waste is impossible to implement without waste separation, which the government is reluctant to introduce, another official said.

“They just don’t think it important enough,” Rashid Alimov, head of Greenpeace Russia’s toxic waste programme, said.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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