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Poland clamps down on illegal waste operations


Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki
30.05.2018 − 

The Polish government announced its intention on Tuesday to tighten controls on waste imports. "It is very often the case that waste is imported for recycling, but we really don't know what actually enters the country," Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said yesterday at a press conference in Warsaw. Mr Morawiecki announced that planned regulatory changes would give the environmental protection inspected that he would change the rules to give the environmental inspector more control over imports.

According the Polish news agency PAP, the measures come in the wake of a number of fires at waste storage sites across the country. Tips in Zgierz in central Poland and in Wszedzien in the north of the country. In the south, a tyre heap caught fire. According to PAP, there have already been 63 waste fires in Poland this year, 27 of which were sizable. The news agency cites figures from the Polish environment ministry. Last year, the state fire service (KG PSP) registered 37 such incidents.

The tip fires appeared to be coordinated, the prime minister said yesterday. The Polish daily newspaper "Gazeta Wyborcza" reports that the fires appeared to follow a pattern. The fires broke out in the late afternoon or in the evening, usually on the weekend. In most of the case, the suspected cause of the fire is arson motivated by the desire to dispose of the waste as cheaply as possible. Polish authorities would handle the matter with great determination, he said. Moreover, the prime minister announced that the investigation was being handed over to the Polish domestic counterintelligence agency (ABW). "We are dealing with the garbage mafia," said Mr Morawiecki. The prime minister also announced that the government would develop an action plan including legislative and regulatory changes addressing the problem. These would include changes in regard to waste imports.

 

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