Are you sure?

Hungary may ship illegally imported garbage back to Germany

Hungary may send household waste equal in weight to more than 1,000 elephants back to Germany once they figure out who's to blame for importing it.

Authorities have discovered almost 5,000 tons of illegally dumped waste at 19 sites around the country since December, Environment Minister Miklós Persányi said yesterday, adding „several people,” have been arrested in the case. The household waste, which officials in Budapest assume was transported to Hungary from the German state of Baden Wuerttemberg, is not a threat to the public, Persányi said.

The waste sites are being guarded while the investigations are under way. „Both countries acknowledge the European Union regulation that if the company that transported the waste cannot be made responsible, the country of origin has the ultimate responsibility,” Persányi said after meeting Germany's ambassador to Hungary, Hans Peter Schiff yesterday.

Should investigations show the waste came from Germany, Schiff said the waste will be taken back. Police arrested a man on January 19 at Budapest's Ferihegy Airport, whose company, Szinkron 99 Kft, is charged with importing the waste, local newswire Mti reported. Szinkron didn't have the necessary licenses for waste handling and transport, Persányi said. Investigations in Hungary may take two to three months, after which the waste can be transported back, Persányi added. (Bloomberg)