Here is what the architect Witold Nepokoichitsky wrote on this subject in 1957:
“A properly organized waste disposal system is of great importance for the improvement of residential areas. The arrangement of primitive open-type waste bins did not and cannot give positive results.
In the warm season, the waste decomposes and can serve as a breeding ground for various kinds of infections. In winter, the garbage, mixing with snow, increases significantly in volume and, when frozen, turns into a conglomerate, the development of which requires significant costs during cleaning.
Now a project proposal has been developed that provides for the installation of insulated closed garbage collection chambers built into the residential buildings. Garbage collection chambers are located in the elevated part of the ventilated undergrounds, hermetically isolated from adjacent rooms, provided with reliable ventilation and foci for burning easily combustible garbage. Portable metal containers are installed in the cells.”
But Nepokoichitsky’s proposal to store garbage inside residential buildings wasn’t accepted. Apparently, for the same reasons that built-in garbage bins in nine-story buildings are being abandoned now.
Instead, in the early 1960s, brick bunker waste bins began to be built in Norilsk yards, which looked like two-story houses.
To throw away the waste, one had to climb a wooden ladder to the second floor and empty the bucket into the bin – there were no garbage bags then. And from below, through the gate, an ordinary truck drove in, into the back of which the bunker opened.
Such houses were not a Norilsk invention. Similar buildings were used throughout the North – in Vorkuta, in Arhangelsk. There were even rumors that it was a Finnish invention.
Such garbage collectors had pluses – the wind did not carry the waste around the yards, and for their removal garbage trucks with loaders were not required. But there were also disadvantages – in winter, the gates and stairs had to be regularly cleaned of snow, change light bulbs and clean the waste frozen to the bunkers.
When the construction of nine-story buildings began in Norilsk, garbage chutes, tanks and trucks with loaders appeared along with them. Tanks were also used in the yards of Hrushchev and Stalin type buildings.
The need for wooden houses disappeared, they dilapidated and became even dangerous. In some yards they still stand, but they are gradually being demolished.
In the History Spot’s previous publication, we talked about the first store in the modern part of Norilsk.
Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Norilsk people and Nornickel Polar Branch’s archives