MOSCOW (AP) — Several thousand people took to the streets across northwest Russia on Sunday to protest a controversial plan to build a major waste plant there.

Police in the regional capital of Arkhangelsk said that about 1,000 people attended a rally there while local media reported that more than 2,000 protesters showed up. Locals held Russian flags and placards saying, "Let's stand for the Russian north."

Protesters also rallied against the dump in more than a dozen towns.

Russian media reported that three activists were detained at the Arkhangelsk rally on charges related to their participation in unsanctioned rallies earlier this year.

The outcry against plans for the waste plant in a pristine Russian forest gained national prominence earlier this year after the regional government agreed to process and bury some of Moscow's waste at a new site at a remote railroad station.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked local officials to heed public concerns but the construction project has not been shelved.

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