Making wheels free of dirt and dust

Your bonnet, bumper and body of your car may shine but ecologists are more concerned by the cleanliness of your wheels

Your bonnet, bumper and body of your car may shine but ecologists are more concerned by the cleanliness of your wheels

Heavy vehicles leaving construction sites have a tendency to take dust and dirt with them, which then dries and fills the atmosphere. It’s a particular problem in the warmer months, and in Minsk.

Ecologists fight for clean transport
Ecologists fight for clean transport

We all like to breathe clean air and Belarus generally boasts good air quality, notes the Deputy Chair of the Minsk City Committee of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Natalia Aleinikova. However, monitoring stations record increased concentrations of dust in the air during dry weather, explains Ms. Aleinikova. She tells us, “One reason for this phenomenon is dust accumulating on roads. In dry weather, each car speeding past raises a cloud of dust. Of course, we recommend that Belremavtodor water the streets more often in hot weather, but this just deals with the ‘results’. One of the main causes of the problem stems from vehicles leaving construction sites; they should be washed but it doesn’t always happen.”

Ms. Aleinikova is convinced that other major Belarusian cities experience similar problems from trucks leaving construction sites in dry weather. One set of tyres can carry around 5kg of sand and clay and each site may have hundreds of large vehicles arriving and leaving, transporting dirt on their wheels as they go. Sooner or later, this ends up in our lungs.

Ecologists working under Ms. Aleinikova have examined more than 200 construction sites and found that about one third of them are either not equipped with posts for cleaning wheels or simply don’t use them. She comments, “A number of other organisations are concerned about this issue and we’ve been instructed to bring the situation under control. We’ll re-inspect problematic sites to see what has been done and what remains to be achieved. We can say already that the situation has moved from a dead point, as city administrations have taken up the issue.”

By Anastasia Shoplya
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