Russia breaks Olympics zero-waste pledge

15 November 2013

Russia is dumping tons of construction waste into an illegal landfill ahead of the "Zero Waste" Winter Olympics in Sochi, Associated Press reports.

In a letter obtained by AP, the local Environmental Protection Agency said that it had inspected the landfill in Akhshtyr and found "unauthorised dumping of construction waste" by Russia’s state-owned rail monopoly.

Residents have been complaining about the waste to the authorities for months and concerns have now been raised of possible contamination in the water that supplies the resort, which sits in a water protection zone where dumping of industrial waste is banned.

In its Olympic bid, Russia promised the cleanest games ever through its "Zero Waste" program, promising not to dump construction waste and to use reusable materials.

An EPA Sochi representative has said that the site is being cleaned up and fines have been issued.

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