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Exchange Students Tour Landfill, Trash Incinerator on First Outing

July 7, 1988

LEBANON, N.H. (AP) _ It didn’t seem like an outing you’d write home about, as 16 Soviet students and their professors toured a sweltering landfill and trash incinerator.

But the students, spending their summer at Dartmouth College, are studying ecology and the environment, so the garbage bags, piles of tires, crushed cars and discarded wood were right down their alley.

″Welcome to the city of Lebanon landfill,″ dump superintendent Alfred Besaw said Wednesday as the students gathered around to hear how his dump works.

Some took notes, some took photos of news photographers taking photos of them.

The students have been in New Hampshire since late June, part of an exchange in which 16 Americans, mostly from Dartmouth, spent about six weeks at Moscow State University. The students major in areas including chemistry, molecular biology and biophysics.

Most have completed four years of their five-year college studies, said Dartmouth Professor Dennis Meadows, who also is head of the national U.S. -U.S.S.R Program on Environmental Education. They will likely be scientists, teachers and researchers.

The outing to the dump and Signal Environmental Systems’ refuse-to-energy plant in Claremont was the first time the students met the media.

They also drove from the hot, dusty dump to an adjacent hotter and dustier metal recycling area, where Fred Janci of Janci Metal and Recycling explained his business.

Dmitri Kavtaradze, a Moscow State professor who has been teaching at Dartmouth this year, picked up a horseshoe - ″This is the best souvenir from America, good luck 3/8″ - and asked if he could keep it.

Janci said he could.

Professor Burdin Konstantin, also from Moscow State, said the main purpose of the visit is to learn how the United States is dealing with environmental problems like trash disposal, water and air pollution and hazardous waste.

″The main thing is to see what kinds of problems are in the United States and how do you solve these problems,″ Konstantin said. ″This is the best thing for our exchange program.″

Some of the students talked about their first impressions of the United States, saying they were impressed with the highways and friendly people.

″They are very friendly people,″ said Olga Divovich of Moscow. ″They often smile at us and it’s very pleasant for us.″

Leonid Brown of Moscow said he had expected to see more hustle and bustle, thinking Americans led ″a more intense way of life, but I have not seen that.″ They also haven’t been far from Hanover, but may visit New York before the end of the summer.

One difference they noted is that the day is less busy at Dartmouth.

Brown and Konstantin Fegeding of Kamenets-Podolsky said that at home, they often would attend class from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., sometimes six days a week.

Fegeding said the students have been watching television to help learn the language, but find it dull.

″There are too many advertisements,″ he said.

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