Sweden scrimps on toxic waste bill

A former saw mill in Alvesta is on the list of toxic sites. File photo: Simon Campanello / P3 NyheterA large number of toxic sites in Sweden are not being cleaned up due to a lack of government funding, reports Swedish Radio.

The government has set a 2050 deadline to clean up 1,300 sites in Sweden that contain materials toxic to the environment, and admits current funding is not enough.

A recent report from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency says that unless more money is invested in the process, not even one third of the sites can be cleaned up in the next four decades.

“We cannot just postpone and wait,” agency representative Svante Axelsson tells Swedish Radio.

“It’s completely unacceptable that there is land in Sweden where toxic waste is leaking out into nature,” he adds.

While the government cut back on its investment in cleaning up toxic waste, Environment Minister Lena Ek has responded to recent criticism by saying the government will now make it more of a priority.

“I would like to set aside more than the 350 million kronor they got last year,” she says. “This is something we will discuss in the upcoming budget planning.”

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