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Not always visible, but plenty – hazardous waste in Hungarian battery factories

Not always visible, but plenty – hazardous waste in Hungarian battery factories

Article by Andrea Éltető on the  Institute of World Economics’ blog

 

Over the past year, battery waste has been in the Hungarian news mostly because of illegally dumped discarded batteries. Iklad, Abasár, Mocsa, Salgótarján, Sárbogárd – in these cities thousands of tons of hazardous batteries were dumped in abandoned buildings and old factories, in an irregular way. Despite calls from the authorities, they are still not being removed, regardless of polluting the air and soil. For example, on 28 March 2024, the Heves County Government Office issued a new fine (HE/HGO/00065-45/2024) and wrote: “the storage of large quantities of hazardous waste without a permit and without official control has resulted in a risk to the environment. Furthermore, a further thirty deadlines for voluntary compliance after the initial deadline for compliance had passed without result and the fine was imposed for the thirty-first time.” Damage to discarded batteries results in large amounts of lithium emissions (among others) into the environment, which can be a source of serious environmental and health problems. Lithium inhibits cell viability and the division of human heart muscle cells, is harmful to skin and eyes, carcinogenic and flammable.

 

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