July 7, 2022

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Illegal waste is like time bombs. Officials are helpless

In 2020, I featured two stories about two women who were cheated in this way. Although the scammers have since been arrested and convicted in one case, and in another the court ruled that it was not the owner who should remove the trash, the trash continues to litter and threaten the neighborhood.

Mrs. Magorzata is a warehouse owner in Nowy Prażmów in Mazowsze. A hall with barrels containing flammable toxic waste for two years.

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– They were brought by the so-called “garbage mafia”, an organized criminal group that rented a lounge from me, declaring that it had rented a warehouse for auto parts – says Magorzata Voenica.

Responsibilities change

In Mrs. Małgorzata’s absence, the crooks took two million liters of the chemical. The cost of its disposal may reach eight million zlotys. We visited the woman with a camera for the first time in February 2021. At the time, the obligation to remove the waste rested with her as the landowner.

The municipality’s decision to collect this waste has been cancelled. The municipality believes that the competent authority will be the director of the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection. The regional director wrote again that according to the regulations, the municipality should take care of the export, says Magorzata.

– The Administrative Court of Voivodeship obliged the mayor to conduct an in-depth analysis to verify the legal and official status. Now the whole action of the mayor is so important that its results can give hints about what to do next. Based on the waste law, the RDOŚ cannot remove this waste, reported Agata Antonowicz of the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection in Warsaw.

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However, the Priamov authorities tried to transfer responsibility for waste disposal, referring the case to the Supreme Administrative Court. Although a request to resolve the dispute over powers was denied, the mayor has no intention of giving up.

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– I have to perform this procedure again. It’s like starting over. For the owner, there is another few months or half years to wait – says Jan Dibek, the mayor of Primov.

Such expenditures will prevent investments in the municipality for years

The mayor explains that if he spends millions on waste disposal, he will halt investment in the municipality for four years.

Nowy Prażmów president, Grażyna Żarlicka, stresses that residents fear the chemicals will explode.

– The end result may be that there will be no New Prażmów. And perhaps not only in Nowe Prażmów, he adds, perhaps the neighboring villages will suffer from it as well.

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When we point out to the head that after the poisons have exploded so badly that there will be nothing to invest in the area, he answers: – There must be many factors at the same time for it to explode. It is locked for now so nothing happens. We must do everything so that the municipality does not pay for it.

quotes. More than a hundred tons of toxic waste

Residents of the village of Czartki in Greater Poland, where we have been with the camera for the first time for nearly two years, face a similar problem. Despite the passage of time, one of the sheds there still contained more than a hundred tons of toxic waste.

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– This farm is after my grandparents. After my grandfather’s death some debts remained. My brother and I agreed to clean the barn and rent it to pay off sooner. Then the problems began – “intervene,” says Anita Kostrzywa.

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Instead of the clothes stipulated in the contract, the tenants began to store drums of chemicals there. The police managed to catch the men who were transporting waste red-handed.

– The gentlemen who were caught unloading one of the last trucks have already been sentenced to prison terms. It’s been two years since these gentlemen brought him in. They are still at large. so what? It is encouraging that everyone can do this, and leave the trash with someone, because it is easy money – comments Mrs. Anita.

People are constantly afraid

The cost of removing the barrels is about half a million zlotys. Although the culprits were found guilty of littering, municipal authorities still demanded that the area be cleaned up by Ms. Anita for her money.

“The addressee of the decision (…) is the owner of the waste, who stores it or stores it in a place not designated for it. (…) Administrative procedures at the stage of consideration of the complaint by the Poznan Regional Administrative Court “- reads part of the statement of the Office Silazco municipality.

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Either way, bureaucratic ping-pong is in full swing. Meanwhile, the perpetrators of the chaos are divorced, the injured women do not know what to do next, and the inhabitants of the surrounding areas tremble with each new day.

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– Everyone washes their hands and this is standing. We are afraid all the time, because all this is close to us and it is impossible to even sleep. When there’s a strong storm or something like that, fear is with it all. When something happens, it will be too late – says Zofia Vigil, Mrs. Anita’s neighbour.

You can find the video material on the intervention page.

mst / ml / interference

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