Politics Causes Trash Pile up in Lviv, Volunteers Try to Help

June 23, 2017 Updated: June 23, 2017

The city of Lviv is one of Ukraine’s top tourist attractions.

That will change if trash keeps piling up there.

The city’s dumps are full. The Ukraine government is supposed to haul garbage to landfills outside the city. But the country’s president and Lviv’s mayor belong to warring political parties.

For a year now garbage has been piling up within city limits. City officials have managed to keep the downtown clear, but  outside of that, malodorous mountains of trash grow daily.

“It’s a political persecution,” said Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi. “We received an offer  that the authorities will stop to interfering, if the Samopomich party votes the same way as oligarchs in the Parliament because they benefit from it. I clearly said that I would never accept it and then the blockade, which has been going on for a year now, was begun.”

Some Lviv residents are trying to clean up the trash on their own.

“I, as a person who loves this city, can see that a problem exists and it needs to be resolved,” said resident and volunteer cleaner Mykhaylo Katruk.”I cannot build a factory, I cannot build garbage sorting line. All I can do is to try to help.”

“One must demonstrate that the trash problem exists and that no one will resolve it but us,” said another volunteer, Oleh Kaznovskyy.

These two and some others donned respirators and gloves and went out with shovels to try to move the trash.

Not many people come out to help—certainly not enough. The trash piles up everywhere.

The piled-up garbage is more than just an eyesore.

“We have tested the soil at garbage dumps and we have found out that the bacteria level is very high and it’s very dangerous,” reported Ukraine’s Acting Health Minister Ulyana Suprun. “Many of those dumps are located not far from children’s playgrounds. We are very worried that diseases will spread quickly.”