Mafia controlled waste management in Europe is posing a serious threat to the environment and human health thanks to its illegal garbage dumping operations migrating from Italy into mainland Europe.
It has been known for a long time that various mafia groups were illegally dumping household garbage and hazardous industrial waste, but now European countries are becoming the Mafia's preferred dumping grounds.
It is believed a big part of the mafia’s garbage business comes from northern Italy where companies pay mafia clans to get rid of industrial waste.
Countries including Sweden and Germany say the gang’s dirty business expansion into Europe has to be stopped because the illegal dumping of hazardous waste is resulting in serious health risks with rising rates of birth defects and cancer in the areas where it was being dumped.
In Italy the environmental group Legambiente said crime groups across southern parts of the country were making more than $20 billion each year illegally dumping toxic waste materials, many which contained cancer-causing compounds.
Such waste is expensive to properly dispose of, making it an ideal source of profit for environment abusing criminal gangs, who simply dump the waste cheaply rather than safely disposing of it.
Regions around Naples were the worst areas for mafia-linked garbage and toxic waste dumping environmental damage and linked to a 2012 research paper which found that women in the Naples had 50 per cent more chance of developing breast cancer than in other areas of the country.