KYIV, Ukraine—Where public trash cans once stood in Ukraine’s capital, garbage now piles up. Kyiv ordered the removal of its public garbage cans after terrorists planted bombs in similar ones at tram stops in the industrial city of Dnipropetrovsk in late April. In May, ahead of the Euro 2012 soccer championships, Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, and other Ukrainian cities hosting Euro 2012 soccer games lost their cans.
Local authorities replaced some of the cans with so-called “light” cans—consisting of a metal “J” with a plastic bag attached to it. They were placed near metropolitan train stations and in the central part of Kyiv.
Yet even these were few and far between and many places in Kyiv, at bus stops and near housing entrances, are still without trash receptacles, despite being required by law.
Olga Drozdach, a manager who works in downtown Kyiv, complains that on Sagaidachnogo Street, a busy tourist strip, there are just one or two cans.
“People distribute different fliers there, and to avoid throwing it on the ground, you walk further and further looking for a bin—you just can’t find one. Only near restaurants are there trash cans,” she says.
Officials responsible for municipal street cleaning say the cans were removed by order of the Kyiv city administration, and they don’t know when they’ll be replaced.
“After terrorist acts in Dnipropetrovsk we got an order from [the head of Kyiv city administration] Alexander Popov who prohibited the use concrete trash cans. But we don’t have other bins, there is no way we can buy new ones, and we can’t use old ones, according to the order. We do not know when we will get new cans,” said a municipal services official in Kyiv’s Desnyanskyi District—one of the largest residential areas on the outskirts of Kyiv—who understood he was speaking to a private citizen.
In order to avoid the inconvenience of trash buildup, municipal service staff are working diligently to keep things clean, according to the official answer from the Desnyanskyi District administration.
Vadym Kostuchenko, acting head of the administration of the district, says that their workers attentively take care of the cleanness in the area. After daily inspections, workers who don’t keep their zone clean enough are punished, he says.
As of July 20, Kostuchenko wrote that his administration had not received any new directions about returning trash cans to their places. He also doesn’t know what type of explosion-resistant trash cans have been approved or what manufacturer was selected by the Kyiv city administration.
The current lack of waste disposal units violates state “sanitary regulations and rules of city beautification,” specifically the third section: “Cleaning of city objects that should be regularly cleaned.”
In this section, it says there must be an adequate number of trash cans, placed in particular at public transport stops, near metropolitan stations, and also near entrances to dwellings and public buildings.
The fines imposed for violations range from $40 to $170 for private citizens, and from $100 to $210 for small business owners and officials.
Thus, a pedestrian can be charged for littering, kiosk or shop owners can get fined for not placing trash cans near their businesses, and officials may be penalized for not providing an adequate number of trash bins in the territory they are responsible for.
Kyiv city officials, however, are wiping their hands clean of the problem, blaming instructions from city administration chief Popov. They have to follow his direction and can’t do anything with the trash can crisis in Kyiv.
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