The “Ultra-Critical” Conditions of Waste Management in Two Northern Provinces of Iran
By Staff Writer
In an interview published by a government-owned newsagency known as ISNA, the Deputy of the Renewable Energy at the regime’s Vice Presidency of Science and Technology, named Sirous Vatankhah-Moghadam, describes the status of waste management as “ultra-critical” in country’s northern provinces, namely Gilan and Mazandaran.
He considers several causes for this crisis, including “lack of a serious will”, mismanagement, lack of unity from authorities, inexistence of credibility, and insufficient investments.
He calls for appropriate measures to be taken and adds: “the rates of disease outbreaks seem to be significantly correlated with the amounts of waste”; which he deems “a significant danger”.
Moreover, Vatankhah-Moghadam discusses the faulty management techniques revolving around the disposal of hazardous wastes; and points out that even though a new committee has been developed for the pricing of renewable energy from waste resources, and relevant agreements have also been put in place, the Ministry of Energy is yet to make an official announcement in this regard.
For years, environmentalists have been warning us of the ingression of waste influxes (of industrial, urban, and domestic nature) into the northern rivers, and ultimately, into the Caspian Sea.
According to some experts, the Caspian Sea has been polluted so heavily that there are now concerns of cancerous toxic substances in its water.
Back in January, a parliamentarian named Valiollah Nanvakenari, commented on this issue: “DTT and mercury are still being found in the Caspian Sea”; he added that the aquatic species of this sea have consequently become extinct, and that “carp fishes no longer exist; hence, there is close to ‘zero’ caviar harvest these days”
Not long ago, ISNA also reported: “the ongoing pollution of environment over the past 30 years has led to huge accumulations of waste in the landfills of Shahzid (an area along Haraz Road) and their expansion into the rivers too; as a result, all local restaurants and entertainment centres have had to close down”.
According to other reports, the landfills of Babolsar (a tourist destination in Iran) have also been sumberged by loads of garbage.
There have been reports that the leachates from these landfills often make their way down to the nearby rice fields, too.
In February 2017, another parliamentarian named Ali Mohammad-Shaeri also gave warnings about the urban and industrial wastewaters of Mazandran; and said that their entrance into the rivers and seas will eventually lead to massive disasters in the future; such as the demolishment of agriculture in the entire province.
According to an article published on May 2011 by ‘Mehr’ (another government-owned newsagency), the Head of Iran Forestry Association, Kazem Nosrati, stated: “more than 90% of wastes and wastewaters of Iran’s northern regions are being disposed in some of the world’s natural heritages, like the ancient Hircanian Forests”.
He added: “The Zarjoob River of Gilan Province is now known as one of the most polluted rivers of the world; which stems from the ineffective means of disposals in this province”.
Nosrati describes: “many incurable disease of our country’s northern regions, are due to environmental pollutions (caused by leachates and other factors), such as those of groundwater, or of the pastures on which livestock graze on; even if natural resources are of no importance to the officials, they are still responsible to take solid actions and save people’s lives”.