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S.Petersburg Ecosupporters Meet Lahti Green Solutions Experience

9-11 June, “Kosmos” ltd and "Friends of the Baltic” NGO has organized a training seminar for ecosupporters from S.Petersburg (teachers, experts of commercial and state organizations) to Lahti, where the participants got acquainted with environmental solutions introduced in the city. Urban environmental Council presented a comprehensive program for reducing greenhouse gases in 2 times by 2016. Participants of the visit saw the latest development of geothermal pumps, and Pyat Huaman company showed how one bag of waste is converted into electricity, enough to 800 hours of energy saving light bulb work.

A group of ecosupporters visited recycling campaign Pyat Huaman where garbage from the city of Lahti is recycling. City of Lahti recycles 94% of all waste. Company also produce biogas from organic waste, and use it for their own needs and heat for 500 houses.

Part of the waste goes to incinerator and transformed into energy, 1 package of "energywaste" is converted into energy, which is enough for 800 hours of energy saving light bulb work or for 300 hours of refrigerator work. Bringing here unsorted garbage, you will pay more (example: to give away separately collected waste costs 7 euros, unsorted - 25 Euro).

More information of how waste is transformed into energy can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBiYt6kr1cc

The second place of the educational trip was the Laboratory of renewable energy sources (RES), which is located near the centre of Lahti. The lab is equipped with the latest technology, and each person or campaign can rent a room for their research. The laboratory was built in 2009 and is partially funded by the European Union. Now various types of pellets for private houses heating are tested here, also the new fuel from algae which experts called the "fuel of the future" according to preliminary results. It will help to solve the global energy crisis and make the trip by car less harmful to the climate (will reduce the emissions of CO2). Also in laboratory geothermal pumps are tested (geothermal pumps is the ability to get energy out of the ground, due to the heat below the surface).

On the second day Ecosupporters visited the Environmental Council of Lahti. The Council is one of the departments of the city administration, but was formerly a non-profit organization. The Council works with 100 thousand population of Lahti, provides services in environmental consulting, licensing for construction works, works in the sphere of education and climate adaptation of the city. At the moment, the main items in the program of city development are transport and environmental education.

Thanks to the work of Lahti Environmental Council, procurement management in sphere of health, transport and education takes ecological component into account. Also, it is significant that all the other departments of the administration cooperate with the Council and are open to change.

St. Petersburg Ecosupporters "tried on" some decisions on their own terms - not yet all things are possible to apply in St. Petersburg, decisions of the regional government or even legislative changes are required. But some items can be applied, and are already being applied at the level of local solutions and organizations level (separate waste collection, energy efficiency, choice of transport solutions).

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