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HAZARDOUS WASTE IMPORTS FROM EUROPE HAVE DOUBLED

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Imports of hazardous waste into Britain have more than doubled in recent years, The Independent reports (p3). ...
Imports of hazardous waste into Britain have more than doubled in recent years, The Independent reports (p3).

Most of the waste comes from Europe, with Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands the largest exporters, despite the government's stated policy that neighbouring countries should deal with waste locally. According to the pollution inspectorate's annual report, imports to England and Wales rose from 21,000 tons in 1988-89 to 44,306 in 1990-91, and have stayed above that level. Greater Manchester received most hazardous waste: 15,689 tons. The inspectorate and local council waste regulation officers also believe some hazardous wastes arrive for disposal illegally, says the paper.

Some imported waste is recycled, but much is burned or buried. The wastes include long-lasting toxic chemicals like PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and poisonous metals such as lead and mercury. The paper reports a Greenpeace waste campaigner as criticising the government for not taking decisive action to stop Britain becoming a dumping ground.
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