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Shiyes Landfill in Arkhangelsk region, Russia

Authorities are building a landfill at Shiyes in Arkhangelsk region to permanently deposit waste from Moscow. Local citizens, excluded from decision making, fear health risks and environmental degradation.


The blockade of a Russian landfill site has inspired a nationwide movement against plans to export garbage to poorer and less populated areas in the Russian hinterlands. The landfill site in Russia’s Northwestern Arkhangelsk region is slated to process 500,000 tons of Moscow’s trash per year, and is being built near a railway station called Shiyes.[12]

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Shiyes Landfill in Arkhangelsk region, Russia
Country:Russian Federation
State or province:Arkhangelsk
Location of conflict:Yrdomyi municipality
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Water treatment and access to sanitation (access to sewage)
Specific commodities:Domestic municipal waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details

500.000 t of solid domestic waste per year shall be storaged at Shiyes in Arkhangelsk region. The waste originates in Moscow and will be transferred by train. [1]

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Project area:3000 [10]
Level of Investment:163,000,000 [1]
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:20/08/2018
Company names or state enterprises:TechnoPark from Russian Federation - Building company of landfill
Moscapremont from Russian Federation - Investor for landfill
Relevant government actors:Pro landfill:
Mayor of Moscow
Arkhangelsk Regional Government (Oblast)
Con landfill:
Yrdomyi Municipality
Local brances of Росприроднадзор (natural resources agency), Ростехнадзор (technical agency) and Росводресурсов ( water resources)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Information website
„Protect Russian North“ movement
„Committee Safe Petshora“ NGO
„42“ ecological NGO
Moscow Zero Waste (Recycling Campaign)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Industrial workers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Urban citizens of Moscow, citizens of areas where further ecotechnoparks are planned. Hunters.
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Referendum other local consultations
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Health ImpactsPotential: Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts, Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision (undecided)
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project temporarily suspended
Development of alternatives:Recycling waste at source is proposed by Moscow NGOs and locals.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Court suspended the project until technical studies are presented, but some construction is on-going. Harassment and repression of the protestors by police continues. One court case was won in January 2020 but it is under appeal. [11]
Sources & Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[3] News (Russian) Pomore is preparing to take film-packed briquettes with Moscow garbage. News 18.10.18.
[click to view]

[7] Znak. (Russian) We count this as repression. Ignak Bakin. 10.4.2019.
[click to view]

[5] The Moscow Times. 8 more activists detained following arkhangelsk landfill protest. 11.4.2019.
[click to view]

[2] Meduza. Our very best, absolutely ideal landfill (Russian) . Ilya Jhegulev. 29.3.2018.
[click to view]

[6] Bellona. (Russian) Shies: repression makes people stronger. Igor Yadroshnikov. 29.4.2019.
[click to view]

[9] Yushniy Federalniy. Construction of the Sheets landfill will be suspended by the authorities. Anastasia Kuznetsova. 16.05.2019.
[click to view]

[8] 7x7 Journal. (Russian) Court in Arkhangelsk appointed an expert review of the facilities under construction at Shies station. Maria Gavrilova. 08.05.2019.
[click to view]

The New York Times. Russians, Feeling Poor and Protesting Garbage, Suffer Winter Blues. Neil MacFarcuhar. 19.02.2019.

(This arcticle provides general background reading about political situation and conflicts between Moscow and provinces).
[click to view]

[1] Meduza. Moscow needs to get rid of six million tons of garbage. Which regions will it be transported to and who will do it. Ivana Golynova. 1.11.2018.
[click to view]

[4] 7x7. (Russian) "Technopark" appealed in court against the fine from Rosprirodnadzor for drilling wells at Shies station in the Arkhangelsk region. The parties dispute whether this is considered use of subsurface resources. Karina Sabolotnaya. 27.03.2019.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Information website
[click to view]

Facebook profile of protestors. Can be contacted in English.
[click to view]

[11] Court rules to demolish controversial landfill in northern Russia

Read in Russian | Читать по-русски


The Moscow Times

January 09, 2020

A Russian court has ruled to demolish the landfill at the heart of a year-long battle over Moscow’s waste, marking a major victory for regional activists who actively opposed its construction.
[click to view]

[12] Bellona. EnvJustice, The Ecologist, 12 Febr. 2020, How Moscows's thrash became treasure.
[click to view]

Bellona, The Ecologist, 12 Febr. 2020, How Moscows's thrash became treasure.
[click to view]

[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Carola Rackete, [email protected]
Last update13/02/2020
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