European Union Has Growing Trash Problem

BRUSSELS, Feb. 3 (UPI) — The European Union needs a separate agency devoted to the problem of waste removal in member nations, an official of the European Commission says.

A new report prepared for the commission found as much as a fifth of waste shipments inspected in the bloc are illegal, the EUobserver reported Wednesday.

The EU study said the scale of the problem has grown in recent years with hazardous waste often being sent to developing countries.

“We must look at all the options, including setting up an EU agency or body which would enable EU legislation to deliver the maximum benefits for citizens, the environment and the EU economy,” said Stavros Dimas, environment commissioner.

Dimas said the new agency could review enforcement systems in member states as well as coordinate controls and inspection activities.

Estimates are the new agency would cost about $22 million annually.

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