Russia’s waste policy and rural waste management in the Karelian Republic: building up a ruin to come?



Russia’s waste management system and legislative framework have undergone an ambitious revision process to fix Russia’s pending waste crisis and push waste management towards the levels of its Western neighbours. While the reforms aim to tackle Russia’s insufficient waste management, the local implementation realities of these central policy strategies, particularly in rural areas, are largely neglected. Rural communities throughout Russia are to implement a waste policy system which is not only unsuitable in its current form, but wherein local realities are in stark contrast to their representations in the realms of policy design. Obliged to implement nonetheless, these mismatches seem destined in building up a ruin to come of a waste management system that will be dysfunctional and locally contested, particularly in relation to its environmental impact. To scrutinise these developments, the paper is framed by a conceptualisation of policy mobility and translation, with an in-depth focus on localised assembling processes that implement Russian waste legislation in three local communities in the Karelian Republic. It analyses rural waste management in Russia through the Regional Waste Management Programme of the Karelian Republic and their processes of implementation. Based on qualitative analysis, the core focus is on local perceptions, waste management infrastructure and local spatial components that highlight the incompatibility between the current institutionalised planning documents and visions of waste policy in Russia and the geographical realities in the places of materialisation.


Popular article based on the paper, with commentaries, is published in Versus Research Debate in English and Russian.

Research Papers



How to Cite

Albrecht, M., Yarovoy, G., & Karginova-Gubinova, V. (2020). Russia’s waste policy and rural waste management in the Karelian Republic: building up a ruin to come?. Fennia - International Journal of Geography, 198(1-2), 135–150.