Good price for dirty business!

A transport company can earn as much as 5-6 thousand euro if it manages to get rid of waste in Poland! No wonder that there are many people eager to earn money in this way. For the illegal procedure one can get a penalty of 14 thousand zloty ( 3,5 thousand euro). So as you can easily calculate that although there is a risk , it is still worth it from the financial point of view. So one might say ( quoting after Mr. Tom Peckham) that the government is encouraging the illegal procedure by its low fines.

This year the the customs officials managed to stop about 200 trucks. However the real number of trucks that have entered Poland with waste-loads is difficult to estimate. The garbage comes mainly from West European countries. Because of the free flow of goods across the border , after the accession to the EU it the customs officials have little control over the content of trucks entering Poland.

Paradoxically also Polish people take part in this procedure. A few months ago a woman agreed on disposing 25 tons waste from Belgium on her property( for a very low price!)

It seems that illegal waste disposal is a highly profitable procedure, which leads to the conclusion that the government should impose bigger fines on waste smugglers and introduce better methods of control.

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Posted in government policy, pollution
3 comments on “Good price for dirty business!
  1. Susanne says:

    Oh my god, did she really agree to “fertilise” her garden (?) with 25 t of waste? So now she’s providing food and habitat for rats and other rodents. Additionally, hazardous material might get into the water supply and create health effects on people and environment.
    Not that important, but worth to be mentioned: Waste dumping creates eyesores on our streets, reduces our feeling of well-being and, thus, our quality of life.

  2. Katarzyna says:

    Actually she didn’t manage to “fertilise” her garden garden in the end. The whole thing was discovered and she had to cover the costs of utilisation. However, I do not blame people for doing things like that. I imagine that she must have really needed the money. Knowing how poor people in many polish viliges are I can easily imagine the scene. I would have probably done the same myself if i didnt have money to feed my children. As we mentioned during the lessons, environmental consciousness is at the very end of Maslows hierarchy. And its very logical, first basic survival needs and then morality and ethics. So in the end, I easily understand people not caring for the environment.
    To conclude, I think that it’s the role of the government to stop illegal procedures like these, because if it is left to the people, tons of waste will flow to Poland.

  3. jeremy says:

    I think you are quite right that this is one example where the market does not provide a solution and that there is very little alternative but to police the situation to guard against it. Importantly, the fines have to be large enough to hurt those who break the law.

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