Can it get any madder? The Netherlands is apparently importing millions of tons of foreign household waste because it is cheaper to burn it here than elsewhere.

Now, we know the Netherlands is a nation of traders, so it is hardly surprising that we can find money in anything. And the Netherlands is said to be the only country in Europe to allow foreign rubbish to be brought in on such a large scale, so it has obviously cornered the market.
But is this little country, which puts masses of effort into rubbish reduction efforts – bottle banks on every corner, used-paper piles in every office and official kitchen equipment recycling schemes – really earning money from other people’s garbage? It would be great to see the sums.
So crazy is the situation that Holland’s provincial councils have asked the government to put limits on the amount of foreign waste being brought in because some of it is now ending up in our already hard-pressed landfill sites.
Pressures of space and an environmental conscience forced the Netherlands to develop its own rigorous approach to waste disposal and recycling. But importing other countries’ rubbish just allows them to dodge their own responsibilities.
Only an anti-social person dumps their rubbish in their next-door-neighbour’s garden. So shouldn’t garbage-exporting nations be forced to clean up their own mess.

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