“Wasteful affairs” in Central and Eastern Europe Cover Image

“Wasteful affairs” in Central and Eastern Europe
“Wasteful affairs” in Central and Eastern Europe

Author(s): László Szilágyi
Subject(s): Economy
Published by: Globális Tudás Alapítvány

Summary/Abstract: A new line of industry is emerging as West European businesses illegally transport waste to poorer European countries. The illegal waste shipments flow from West to East, and from North to South, from the old EU member states to the new ones. The author cites specific examples, such as waste illegally delivered from Germany to Hungary. One cause of the waste shipments is the basic EU principle of the free flow of goods; in the EU, garbage is also considered a good. Another driving force behind the waste shipments is the huge difference in waste disposal costs between the old and the new member states. The European Commission has suggested that the EU directive on waste should be amended in order to qualify the incineration of communal waste not as disposal but as waste recovery (the European Parliament rejected the bill in the first reading). However, experts argue that if the EU qualifies incineration as recovery, then it effectively makes the poorer states of Central and Eastern Europe target countries for Western waste, as when it comes to the option of refusing waste a key distinction is being made depending on whether transport takes place with the objective of waste recovery or waste disposal. If incinerators are recovery works, then waste is heating material. And as the import of heating material may not be banned by any member state, there will be no way to thwart the waste trade.

  • Issue Year: 2007
  • Issue No: 03
  • Page Range: 137-150
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: English