Poland raises complaint to EC about German waste dumping

Poland raises complaint to EC about German waste dumping


Poland has lodged an official complaint against Germany with the European Commission about tons of German waste, some allegedly toxic, being dumped in unauthorised landfills across Poland.

Poland’s Minister for Climate and Environment, Anna Moskwa, claims the waste is being brought into Poland illegally. The complaint could lead to the issue eventually going to the European Court of Justice.

According to Moskwa, both the German government and local authorities have failed to respond to Poland’s requests to remove the waste from its territory.

Germany’s Environment Ministry says it has yet to receive the complaint and so is unable to comment.

The German government views Illegal waste exports with concern and would like to see tighter EU rules applied, according to ministry spokesman Christopher Stolzenberg.

Moreover, he noted, state governments rather than the federal government are responsible for implementing the law – investigating, tracing and ordering the return of illegal exports. Berlin tries to help “informally” where it can, he added.

Foreign waste storage in Poland has been a contentious issue for years. Companies there contract with foreign firms and undertake to neutralise the waste. Some, however, just dump the waste at unauthorised sites, only to eventually burn it to make room for more. The resulting toxic fires have roused considerable public concern.

Poland’s penal code provides for up to 10 years in prison for the illegal import and storage of waste that may be toxic.

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