MOSCOW, August 28 (RIA Novosti) – The "Baikal Dialogue" forum which recently wrapped up in Buryatia has led to a series of agreements on Russia and Japan establishing cooperation with respect to environmental conservation issues, particularly trash disposal, the Russian website Arigus reports.
"The Japanese government promised to express full support for projects in this field. Our current task is to initiate such a project. We do not have any concrete arrangements. This time we have reached an agreement that we would jointly review the technical and economic possibilities of building a plant in Buryatia", said Arai Toshikaju, head of the Russia and CIS department of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Environmental & Chemical Engineering Co. LTD.
Mikhail Slipenchuk, the head of the parliamentary environmental committee, believes that if Japanese specialists manage to apply their nature conservation techniques in Russia, "a formidable task will be resolved in the Baikal area".
According to Japanese experts, nearly 55 mln tons of trash is produced in Russia every year, whereas in Japan the same amount is recycled. The trash disposal industry has existed in Japan since the 1970s. In Russia, only the first steps have been taken to create such an industry – a bill related to the matter awaits parliamentary approval. The cooperation with Japan may provide Russia with advanced, non-hazardous and environmentally friendly techniques of disposing waste material.
More than 40% of the trash produced globally is burned in un-regulated fires, which poses a threat to public health and aggravates the problem of climate change, Time magazine reported Thursday August 28, citing a new study from the US National Center for Atmospheric Research.
"Air pollution across much of the globe is significantly underestimated because no one is tracking the open-fire burning of trash", NCAR researcher and lead author of the study Christine Wiedinmyer was cited as saying.
Unregulated burning releases a wide range of materials (e.g. mercury or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) that may provoke health problems such as neurological disorders, cancer and heart diseases. While simple garbage burning is one of the most common ways in which trash is disposed in the world, it is especially popular in developing countries which have limited access to controlled methods of dealing with trash and waste material.