Positive Zero Waste News from Ukraine: CC Yard in Ruska Lozova, Kharkiv

Sorted bricks. Photo:

The CC Yard (circular construction and repair site) in the Kharkiv region of
Ukraine facilitates the collection of materials and useful objects to be used
for the reconstruction of buildings in the Dergachyv community that were
destroyed or mutilated as a result of Russia’s aggressive war on Ukraine.
Anything potentially useful for construction or repair can be brought directly
to the site in the village, Ruska Lozova, Zero Waste Yard in Kharkiv, or can be
sent to the site, after first contacting the representatives of the initiative.
The following materials are accepted and are handed over to the residents
of the Dergachyv community to rebuild their homes after the destruction
caused by the war: building materials, doors, windows, remnants of roofing
materials, sanitary ware (bathtubs, toilets, taps, etc.), wallpapers and floor
coverings, boards, furniture, appliances and other materials and items.
An important area of work is the collection of secondary building materials,
which are shared by the residents of the local communities, as well as the
dismantling of buildings crushed by the Russian military forces, from where
surviving wood and bricks are found and removed from the ruins, to be used
for reconstruction of buildings.

Buildings dismantled by machinery are brought to the CC Yard as a pile of
unsorted waste. Workers remove bricks, sort wood, beams and metal
elements of the building. This is work which takes time, requiring several
weeks to save all materials from damaged or destroyed buildings. Some of
the buildings are being dismantled by local residents who lost their jobs due
to the war; and, currently, the financial status of the NGO “Zero Waste
Kharkiv” project allows these workers to be paid.

The headquarters of the Village Council, destroyed by bombing and shelling,
has already been dismantled and sorted into various components at the CC
Yard site. The workers have also started disassembling the ruins of a
residential building, which was so damaged as to be incapable of restoration.

Waste from a dismantled building awaiting collection and extraction of
secondary raw materials. Photo:

Approximately 13,000 bricks were recovered from the ruins of the Village
Council headquarters building, and the distribution of these bricks to
members of the local community has been started, with no more than 500
bricks being distributed to each homeowner, so that there would be enough
for as many residents of Ruska Lozova as possible. Residents are using these
bricks to rebuild their homes, the restoration of which is not compensated
by the State. Small amounts of bricks and concrete are also given to local
residents for backfilling pits or bomb craters.

Collected wood is sorted into that which can be reused, and that which will
be burned for heating; and therefore almost nothing from the destroyed
buildings ends up as waste or garbage.

The process of finding bricks. Photo:

In addition, on the site in Ruska Lozova, the NGO “Zero Waste Kharkiv”
constructed two experimental walls to demonstrate to people how bricks
and even their smallest fragments can be reused. The demonstration
versions of these walls are built according to the principle of a well – the core
of the reconstructed or new wall is filled with small items of waste (crushed
bricks, remains of insulation, etc.); such walls are energy-efficient, and this
method of masonry allows maximum use of demolition waste.

  • c. Ruska Lozova, Kharkiv region
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Blog article by Jack O’Sullivan