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Tuesday, 1 October, 2002, 20:58 GMT 21:58 UK
EU fights illegal waste dumps
A landfill site in Britain
Greece and Spain face hefty fines for illegal dumps
The European Commission has named seven EU member states that continue to dispose of waste in illegal landfill sites.

Greece and Spain are at the top of the list with the biggest number of illegal waste dumps - 10 each.

Both countries face hefty fines if they continue to ignore the commission's 1999 Landfill Directive.

Greece's fine for illegal dumps in Crete has added up to more than 5m euros.


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.

EU's Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom
Italy was next on the commission's roll of shame, with eight legal suits against it for operating sub-standard tips.

Ireland faces five cases and Britain, France and Germany each have one.

Each citizen of the EU produces an average of about 540kg of waste a year, more than half of which goes to landfill sites.

The EU's landfill directive sets strict rules on what types of waste can go to landfills and how the sites must be managed.

But, according to the commission, many countries ignore the rules.

"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," the EU's Environment Commissioner, Margot Wallstrom, said in a statement.

She said too many countries continued to use landfills as their prime means of dumping waste, when it should be the option of last resort.

Correspondents say the situation is even more worrying in some countries that are candidates for EU membership. There are up to 10 states aspiring to join the EU in 2004.

See also:

16 Sep 02 | UK
07 Mar 02 | Wales
16 Jul 01 | Scotland
29 Jul 98 | UK
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