Named and shamed – poor efforts on landfill sites

The European Commission has named illegal and mismanaged landfill sites in seven countries across Europe. Greece and Spain share the biggest shame, each with 10 cases of landfill sites that have received public complaints. Italy and Ireland have around half a dozen and the UK, France and Germany have one each. The Commission is now taking legal action for infringements of waste and landfill directives.

“We receive a steady flow of complaints from people who are worried about the impact that illegal or badly managed landfills can have on their health,” says Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström. “Only if national authorities respect the legislation for landfilling can citizens be encouraged to trust landfilling as a environmentally viable option for waste management.”

Along with classifying waste according to whether it is hazardous, non-hazardous waste or inert, waste legislation sets out targets for the reduction of biodegradable municipal waste going to landfills: a reduction to 75% in 2006, 50% in 2009 and 35% in 2016 compared to the amount of waste produced in 1995.

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