Old municipal landfill

3.11.2014 - Aktau / Mangystau Province
Foto: Martin Plocek

The huge landfill is located 5 km from the city, between the shores of Koshkar Ata  tailings Lake and Aktau City. Mixed household garbage had been stored there approximately till 2006, then the landfill was closed. 

Organic material has decomposed as well as construction waste, iron and paper. Most of the visible content is created by soil and rubble and glass bottles, sometimes pieces of furniture, materials and home appliances. At first sight it is visible that no separation or recycling exists. The territory is not properly fenced and no warning signs are placed around the area. 

Extensive excavations were observed on several spots in the landfill area and it is not clear who or why is carrying them out. One explanation might be that someone is preparing huge holes for hiding new waste in the old landfill which would be illegal.

Just few hundred meters from the old landfill a new one is located, operating by State Communal Enterprise Koktem since 2006. A polygon of 15 ha was designated to serve as landfill. The nearest houses of Baskuduk village are distant few tens of meters virtually only across the road. This area was originally in 1990´s a weekend houses area (Baskuduk) and later turned into a new district of Kazakh nation immigrants from Karakalpakstan and Uzbekistan called Munaily. 

The new landfill is fenced and there is also an information sign at the main entrance. Another deep newly dug up hole out the landfill territory was observed at the entrance, with no clear purpose. The system of waste compacting and covering the waste layers by soil is probably unsufficient. Due to the constantly blowing wind, pieces of waste are flying many kilometers from the landfill to the open land – especially plastic bags. 


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