As Moscow’s Landfills Near Limits, Recyclers Do Whatever It Takes
“In the absence of a broad municipal effort, die-hard recyclers have to rely on a hodgepodge of private, for-profit companies that are not always willing to accept small batches of recyclables, usually take only one kind of material, and are both far away and hard to find.
“The system is not user-friendly,” said Mr. Tsygankov. “You have to be really, really aware and sensitive to this issue to care.”
Tatiana Kargina, who began recycling paper when she moved to Moscow from Irkutsk five years ago for a job in education, falls into this category. Four years ago, when she discovered a brand-new, environmentally minded collection point that took not just paper or glass, but a range of recyclables, she started collecting all kinds of household waste — even batteries, which were not recyclable in Russia at the time. (When friends flew to Europe, they took the batteries with them.)
Every two months, she gladly made the 40-minute trip from her apartment to the recycling center. “The taxis were shocked when I put all this sorted garbage in the car,” she said. “They thought I was crazy.”