Magdalena Meergraf, Monopol (The Gap, BIORAMA) and freelance journalist Wiener Zeitung
Legal Officer, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
e-waste expert, TU Wien, Institute for Water Quality, Resource and Waste Management
Head of Department of Technical Cooperation, International Solid Waste Association
Urban development specialist, TU Wien, ISRA
'Trash Talk': Illegal waste dumping and trade
One of the most frequent environmental crimes committed concern our waste. Many waste types are long-lasting in nature and hazardous. Waste disposal and recycling, therefore, are of significant value for our society. However, high costs, complicated technical processes and lacking public awareness are ingredients of the recipe for criminal activities regarding adequate waste treatment. The UK-based Environment Agency recently labelled waste crimes as “the new narcotics”, putting the spotlight on the importance of providing a functioning sanction system for these crimes. A first step in the right direction is to understand the mechanisms how waste crimes are committed: At times, waste treatment is openly neglected by authorities, hazardous waste stored in unsecure facilities or simply shipped to places lacking efficient crime prosecution. A number of highly publicized incidents have led to regulations tackling these issues, but measures have also unfolded the unwillingness of all involved actors to follow the rules.
How can a functioning legal framework look like? What could be incentives for the actors to follow the rules? What are the ultimate goals – no waste any longer? The first ETIATalks of 2016/17 want to put these questions onto display.