According to Greenpeace, Russia's landfills cover a total area equal to the size of Switzerland, which is more than 41,000 square kilometers. The situation, however, might soon improve.
New amendments to the federal law, "On Production and Consumption Waste," take effect on Sept. 26. Each region will have to decide how to deal with waste -- to sort and recycle it, send it to a landfill, or incinerate it. Federal funding will depend on the implementation of such programs.
"Over the past 30 years the country had no clear parameters to assess the waste situation," said Dmitry Artamonov, a Greenpeace official in Russia. "Now it will be possible to compare performance. This is an opportunity to evaluate the competence of officials and their willingness to work."