Metabolic Transformations in the Area of Municipal Solid Waste Management in Russian Megalopolises: The City of Moscow Case


Based on secondary data analysis and semi-structured expert interviews (n = 90), the study analyses metabolic transformations in the area of municipal solid waste (MSW) management in Russian megalopolises using the city of Moscow as a case study. The findings suggest that the key node that triggered numerous interdependent processes involved the changes introduced in the legislation on MSW management and the decision to shut down several large MSW landfills without the simultaneous implementation of other landfills. These actions affected the health of the population and contributed to environmental inequality. The authors provide recommendations for the mitigation of risks associated with MSW generation, recycling, and storage in large Russian cities.

Author Biographies

Polina O. Ermolaeva, Center of Advanced Economic Research in the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tatarstan; Kazan Federal University, Kazan, Russia

Dr. Polina O. Ermolaeva is an Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology of Kazan Federal University, and a Research Fellow at the Federal Center for Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Center of Advanced Economic Research in the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences. Her research interests center around sustainability transitions, climate research, environmental governance, sustainable cities, and volunteering in emergency. Polina led over 50 global projects for such organizations as UBER, the World Bank Foundation, Open Society Foundation, British Petroleum, Fulbright, IREX, Russian Scientific Foundation, and others.

Yulia V. Ermolaeva, Center of Advanced Economic Research in the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tatarstan; Kazan Federal University, Russia, Kazan

Yulia V. Ermolaeva is a Research Fellow at the Center of Advanced Economic Research and the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Secretary and Organizer of events at the Russian Society of Sociologists. Her area of professional interests includes interdisciplinary studies in the field of environmental sociology, sociology of professions, waste management, renewable energy sources, sustainable production and consumption, and eco-activism. Yulia took part in more than 10 research projects on the study of engineering professions and dynasties, problems of green cities, waste management, critical state of natural and social systems, and eco-activism.

Dmitry V. Efremenko, Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences, the Russian Academy of Sciences (INION RAN), Moscow, Russia

Dr. Dmitry V. Efremenko, Dr. Sci. (Political Studies), is a Principal Researcher and Deputy Director of the Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences (INION RAN), a visiting professor at the Liaoning University (Shenyang, China). He studies international relations under the conditions of changing world order. Dr. Efremenko is the author of numerous books and articles on Russia’s foreign policy, social and political transformations after the collapse of the Soviet Union, environmental problems and the rise of information society. He is a member of Council on Foreign and Defense Policy.


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How to Cite
Ermolaeva, P., Ermolaeva, Y., & Efremenko, D. (2022). Metabolic Transformations in the Area of Municipal Solid Waste Management in Russian Megalopolises: The City of Moscow Case. Changing Societies & Personalities, 6(4), 858–883. doi:10.15826/csp.2022.6.4.207