In St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region there are more than 3.5 thousand gardening communuties, in which over 2 million gardeners live in the summer season. During three summer months in gardenig toilets more than 2,300 tons of nitrogen and 300 tons of phosphorus are produced. More than 500 000 permanent residents of the Leningrad Region do not have connections to centralized wastewater treatment plants - this is another 2,275 tons of nitrogen and 275 tons of phosphorus per year. Toilet drains of diffused settlements and gardenings do not flow “from one pipe”, the scale of their impact is not always obvious. In the absence of high-quality wastewater treatment, nitrogen and phosphorus compounds enter the groundwater and surface water, contributing to the nutrient contamination of wells and springs, water bodies, water courses and eventually the Baltic Sea. Available solutions for cleaning of toilet waste in non-canalized areas were presented on the educational trip “Practical solutions for environmentally friendly ways for toilet waste cleaning in rural areas” on May 24.

According to the participants of the seminar “The quality of natural waters of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region: how to prevent pollution by nutrients?”, there are several key reasons of the ineffective solving of the problem of water pollution in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. These are insufficiently developed of legislation and law enforcement practice, a low level of ecological culture and a lack of awareness of the population about problems related to water quality. Possible options for improving the situation we discussed at the meeting.

Dry toilets works for people and nature

The problem of wastewater treatment in non-canalized areas is intensifies in the warm season, when thousands of citizens come to gardening communities and villages. In houses with non-permanent residence, simple cesspool toilets are usually installed, nutrient runoff from them flow into groundwater and surface water, polluting drinking water sources and causing water "blooming" in lakes and rivers, accompanied by deterioration of living conditions of aquatic inhabitants. Dry toilet is an eco-friendly alternative to cesspool toilets.

In the Leningrad region 4 demonstration complexes “Dry toilet with separate collection and composting of waste” has installed - in the Lomonosovsky, Volosovsky, Gatchina and Luga districts, by Ecocentrum Ltd with the participation of the Friends of the Baltic NGO. 

At the forum “Ecology of the Big City” waste management became one of the key topics for discussion. Friends of the Baltic participated in Forum events and spoke about the role public participation and citizen science in marine litter and microplastics research. Read the brief report below.

More than 180 participants from St.Petersburg and Leningrad region, as well as from Estonia, joined to River Narova Festival in Ivangorod. Teams of schoolchildrean and teachers  took part in the event. Local citizens joined to the action.



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Ecocentrum is the platform for cooperation between NGOs, businesses and authorities, designed to facilitate the development and implementation of environmental policies and promote green solutions.