Brussels Takes Bulgaria to Court over Illegal Landfills
Friday, 24 January 2014
The European Commission said it is taking Bulgaria to court for breaching the EU waste and landfill legislation.
More than four years after the final deadline for their closure 113 operational landfills in Bulgaria still do not comply with the EU Landfill Directive, the Commission said in a press release. “In an effort to speed the closure and clean-up of the illegal landfills, the Commission has therefore decided to bring Bulgaria before the EU Court of Justice."
Under the Landfill Directive, existing landfills may not continue to operate after 16 July 2009 unless they comply with EU legislation. Upon the expiry of the deadline Bulgaria informed the Commission that 130 municipal landfills were not compliant with the Directive, and were still in operation. Slow progress over the following years prompted the Commission to open an infringement procedure in April 2012, when 124 non-compliant landfills were still in operation, it added.
Despite Bulgaria’s notice that 23 new landfills are to be completed by July 2015 and will gradually replace those in breach, no clear timeline has been provided, the Commission noted. In addition, the initial timeline is unlikely to be respected due to litigation before Bulgarian courts regarding the construction of the new landfills.