The European Commission asked on November 21 that Bulgaria brings its landfills in line with the bloc’s legislation.
Under EU law, landfills are to be used only “as a last resort, and it can only be done under conditions that avoid impacts on human health and the environment”. Landfilling, however, remains Bulgaria’s primary way of dealing with refuse, while efforts in recent years to build recycling facilities have often remained stymied.
“Bulgaria had agreed to close the landfills that do not meet the requirements of EU legislation. But, while some progress has been made, 124 landfills are still in breach of the legislation,” the Commission said in a statement.
The Commission’s request took the form of a reasoned opinion, the second stage of infringement procedures that the EC can launch against member states, meaning that the countries have two months to inform the Commission of the measures they have taken.
Failure to respond could lead to the Commission referring the cases to the European Court of Justice.
(Refuse is one of the issues that keeps resurfacing in Bulgarian capital city Sofia, whose own landfill is already full and the city has had to negotiate, in recent years, with other towns to move its refuse to their storage facilities. Photo: Klearchos Kapoutsis/flickr.com)