A report written by Bloomberg, taken over by the Romanian Press Agency, Agerpres, brings to our attention a shocking sequence of life for the 21st century and for the crisis that Europe is going through, in political and economic agony.
The Bloomberg report is summarized by the Romanian press agency Agerpres.
When Paulina Mroczkowska noticed a growing pile of garbage in her neighbor’s yard across the street, her main concern was not how the waste was collected, but how it would be used, reports Bloomberg.
40 cities in Poland are among the 100 cities with the worst air quality in the European Union due to the use of coal to heat homes. But now the lack of coal and the rising cost of living are forcing people to burn alternatives, including domestic waste.
“The situation has become so bad lately that you can feel the garbage being burned every day, which is completely new. It’s worrying to think what will happen when it gets really cold,” says Paulina Mroczkowska , a mother with three children who lives in Jablonna, a suburb in the north of the capital Warsaw.
While Russia’s war in Ukraine has exposed the fragility of Europe’s energy security, Poland faces an additional risk: efforts to combat pollution are backfiring in a country with the most premature deaths linked to air pollution.
The Polish government, which has temporarily suspended air quality controls, is considering the possibility of distributing anti-pollution protective masks in winter. Last month, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, the most important party in Poland’s governing coalition, suggested that people should do everything they can to benefit from the heat and “we need to be able to burn anything except tires and other things that are equally harmful.”
Some municipalities in Poland have begun to relax environmental restrictions introduced in recent years. For example, in Krakow, a regional assembly last month authorized the burning of any material, from coal to garbage, until the beginning of 2024. check chimneys for signs that households are illegally burning waste.
Opinion polls show that 60% of households do not have enough coal stocks to get through the winter, says Piotr Siergiej, spokesman for a network of environmental activists Polski Alarm Smogowy. “People are scared, they started collecting everything that can be burned”, says Piotr Siergiej.
It is about lignite, wood, peat and garbage. Nowy Sacz, a locality in southern Poland, is facing an unprecedented situation in which the municipality collects a smaller amount of waste than in the same period last year, mayor Ludomir Handzel revealed. This in the conditions in which the respective locality ranked first among the 334 most polluted cities and towns tracked by the European Environment Agency
“We have noticed a significant decrease in the amount of garbage collected, especially when it comes to materials that, at least theoretically, could be burned such as paper, cardboard and packaging: we will fine those who try to poison us and our children” , said Ludomir Handzel.
Poland, a country with 38 million inhabitants, annually registers over 40,000 premature deaths due to air pollution.
Kamil Sukiennik, who lives in Nowy Dwor, on the outskirts of Warsaw, says the smog in his neighborhood comes from people turning on their stoves every night. The pungent smell is felt even now, at the beginning of autumn, when the mercury in the thermometers has not yet dropped below zero.
“Through their comments, the Government and Jaroslaw Kaczynski” practically declared war on me and the entire community that cares about air quality. We will not tolerate this,” said Kamil Sukiennik, who is part of the environmental activist network Polski Alarm Smogowy.