The government has set aside €3m to help land owners and local councils clean up dangerous chemicals dumped in the countryside by drugs gangs.
‘Criminals make enormous profits but saddle councils and land owners such as farmers with the cost of cleaning up their chemical waste,’ junior environment minister Sharon Dijksma said in a briefing to parliament.
Ideally the cost of the clean-up should be passed on to the drugs gangs but they are difficult to identify, the minister said.
Last year 200 chemical waste dumps were registered with the authorities. This year the total is 122.
The problem was particularly acute in Noord-Brabant province where most of the ecstasy and amphetamine drugs labs are found but it is also a serious issue in Limburg.
Last year, 90% of the waste dumps were in Noord-Brabant but this year that has shrunk to just 25%. However, nearby Belgium is becoming an increasingly important dumping ground, local officials told broadcaster Nos.
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