More than 4,000 bicycles can be returned to the Murmansk region from the Storskog checkpoint. This initiative was made by the environmental organizations Kola Environmental Center and the Norwegian Naturforbundet.
The bikes dump on the Norwegian border was a result of the mass influx of refugees, asylum seekers in the northern country. Since crossing the state border is prohibited by law, migrants buy bicycles in the Murmansk region, and then leave them on the Norwegian side.
According to "Severpost" referring to the channel NRK, a dump of bicycles is estimated at 2 million NOK, which is approximately 15.6 million rubles. Only last week 42 tons of bicycles were sent for disposal in Sweden.
Photo by Kseniya Novikova, NRK: Vitaly Servetnik
"These bikes can't be used in Norway, as they have only one brake, but there should be two under Norwegian law. Refugees can not ride them on the Norwegian territory, so they leave them on the border. It's impossible to adapt them to Norway. Therefore, the authorities send the bikes for processing – to the border with Sweden. From an environmental point of view, it is wrong – new things are sent to the landfill for recycling. It turns out that the energy spent on the production of these bikes was wasted. Environmental transport, intended to benefit, harms," Vitaly Servetnik, Member of the Board of Kola Environmental Center said in an interview to «7x7».
Together with the Norwegian colleagues, environmentalists had the idea to return the bikes back to Russia. However, the Norwegian authorities have concerns that those bikes can be re-sold to migrants, as this has become a very lucrative business of the fall in the border area.
"Of course, the things that have already been sold once should not be re-sold, it is ethically wrong,” Vitaly Servetnik expressed his opinion. "We offered to resolve these concerns in order to pass these bikes in social institutions – environmental clubs, cycling club, so they could distribute it. Or the Murmansk authorities should make the system of urban bikes as it is practiced in Russian cities. Several thousands of bicycles is a sufficient number to run the urban bike system."
Civil activists can not carry out this plan alone, so they rely on the help and interest of the authorities. According to environmentalists, this issue is within a political will of both sides.
In turn, environmental organizations are ready to assist realization of this idea. Vitaly Servetnik said about the possibility of a round table between the various representatives of the government to implement the idea.
«We can be an interlink, if necessary,» Servetnik said.
Gleb Yarovoy, «7x7»