Armenia’s Armavir Province: Where’s the Money Being Spent on Trash Removal Going?
Garbage pickers often get into arguments at the trash dump in Armenia’s town of Armavir.
There is money to be made sorting through the mounds of trash and collecting plastic bottles to be turned in. A 60 kilo bag of bottles can be sold for 1,500 AMD ($3.15).
Pickers have staked out their territory and don’t take kindly to interlopers.
One of the pickers told Hetq that in the beginning the buyer would give them 50-60,000 AMD. In return the pickers would have to hand in 3-40 sacks of plastic bottles. A picker was able to take home 59,000 AMD monthly.
In Yerevan, a recycling outfit called CleanLand pays 100 AMD for one kilo of bottles. The company makes 5,000-6,000 per sack. 1,500 AMD goes to pay the pickers and the rest covers transportation costs and profit.
The process of making money from trash is well organized in Armavir, but ridding the town and adjacent villages of garbage hasn’t been achieved.
Using the map below, readers can focus in on the trash dumps in Armavir Province (extreme left)
In the town of Armavir, the provincial capital, there’s the one main dump and several smaller ones. Residents of the town throw their garbage near the train tracks. There’s a small dump near the cemetery in the north of the town. Yearly, the Armavir Municipality spends 107.6 million AMD ($226,000) on trash collection and removal.
The website of the Metzamor municipality says, “The town is located in Armavir province, under the biblical gaze of Ararat.” Every day, under Ararat’s gaze, resident throw their trash along the roadside. Garbage is piled up right under the road sign welcoming visitors to the town. The mayor seems not to have noticed it. Yearly, the municipality spends 23.5 million AMD on trash removal. An outfit called Metzamor Improvement has the contract.
Mayisyan village residents simply unload their garbage along the roadside. The village spends 1.4 million annually on trash collection.
The trash receptacle in neighboring Mrgashat hasn’t been emptied for so long that it’s become a part of the dump surrounding it. Receptacles soon turn into mini-dumps. The municipality spends 4.5 million AMD on trash removal each year.
(After the publication of this article, Mrgashat Mayor Gevorg Danielyan commented that the receptacle lies within the administrative borders of Armavir. We apologize for the mistake)
The village of Noravan is located near the main Armavir dump. This, however, isn’t the only reason that the community’s fields are strewn with plastic bags. Piles of garbage are to be seen in roadside fields. The community spends 960,000 AMD yearly on trash removal.
Construction debris is to be seen throughout the community of Loukashin. The roadside leading into town is strewn with such debris. Departing the community, there are two trash bins for both household and construction debris. The municipality spends 1.9 million AMD per year for garbage collection.
In Khandjyan, the canal has become the trash dump. Residents throw their garbage from the bridge above. It seems that the 1.5 million spent every year to remove the trash isn’t making a dent.
The canal in the community of Norapat serves the same purpose. Residents simply toss their garbage from the bridge. This village spends 1million on trash removal.
In the village of Hatsik, the fruit tree orchard doubles as a garbage dump. This doesn’t seem to trouble the municipality. The 2.3 million AMD spent for collecting trash hasn’t cleaned up the orchard. There’s a makeshift dump along the road leading to the village.
The garbage problem in the village of Myasnikyan is worse than Hatsik. Mini dumps are to be seen along the train tracks. Dumps are also located near the homes of local residents. During the hot summer months, a foul stench permeates the area.
We also spotted trash near the village of Artamet. Nevertheless, the amount of trash seems tolerable.
In Houshakert, metallic waste, household and construction debris litters the road to the village. Mounds of construction debris is also to be seen in the village, near residential homes.
The Sardarabat Memorial, in the vicinity of the village of Araks, is considered an ethnographic and national liberation struggle museum. At the rear of the memorial, mounds of household trash spoil the memorial’s aesthetic impact. There are trash dumps in the village of Araks as well. The village spends 2.4 million AMD annually for trash removal.
There are vineyards in the community of Lenoughi. Sadly, they are littered with mounds of trash. Vines and trash meld into one, and plastic bags are twisted around the grape vines. The community spends 1.2 million on trash collection.