Littering Scrap-Metal Dealers Keep Environmental Agency Busy
The Environmental Inspectorate has seen a recent surge in scrap-metal dealers, who offer to haul off old household appliances free of charge, strip them of valuable metal, and then dump the remains into the local woods.
There are many ads offering to take everything from car batteries to refrigerators off the hands of others for free. But in several instances when a journalist from ERR radio called the service providers, and inquired whether they actually possessed a waste-management license, the phone was quickly hung up. There can therefore be moral costs, in addition to the environmental costs, tied to such free services.
"Many of the scrap-metal dealers transport the household appliances to garages maintained by small companies or individuals. The question arises, what do they do next? Do they really handle them in an environmentally friendly fashion, take out the hazardous substances, and sort out the materials that can be recycled? Or do they simply strip the metal, everything of value, and then dump the rest into a garbage container, or worse - in a forest," said environmental protection inspector Rene Rajasalu.
He said the Environmental Inspectorate now deals with around five unlicensed waste-management cases each month.