Waste Fires in Poland and Some of their Environmental Implications: A Ten-Year Perspective
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The Main School of Fire Service Słowackiego 52/54 01-629 Warsaw POLAND
Jan Stefan Bihałowicz   

The Main School of Fire Service Słowackiego 52/54 01-629 Warsaw POLAND
J. Ecol. Eng. 2022; 23(11):147–157
Economic growth and development are connected with the increase in consumption. One of the side effects of progress is waste production. Sustainable development would also include proper management of waste, focusing on their recycling. However, the direct costs of recycling sometimes exceed the costs of waste storage. Therefore, waste storage in landfills is still widespread. Improper waste storage or deliberate actions can lead to waste fires. In the work, the statistics of landfill fires from the years 2012 to 2021 were analyzed. The work includes statistics of the parameters of fires reported in the reports of Polish State Fire Services. Additionally, the usage of the resources and materials for firefighting and their trends are discussed. It was shown that resources demanded to extinguish waste fires was increasing in this period. The statistics are accompanied by spatiotemporal analyses of the location of fires based on Corine Land Cover which showed that approximately half of the fires are on arable land and non-continuous urban fabric while fires at dumpsites are relatively rare. The important concern is also that around 10% of very big waste fires are in forests. All these analyses lead to the assessment of some environmental impacts which are caused by waste fires.