The traffic in garbage and hazardous wastes: An overview

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38 Scopus citations


The traffic in garbage and hazardous wastes is a huge illicit transnational business that involves a wide array of criminals, including private entities, corrupt public officials, and organized crime groups. The traffic in CFCs and radioactive materials and the chemical by-products of illicit crop cultivation and production are related problems with significant negative environmental and social consequences. Inelastic demand, price differentials among industrialized and developing nations, corruption, incongruent international regulations, a lack of political will, and the emergence of waste brokers are all factors that drive the illegal trade and inhibit law enforcement. While regulatory and criminal justice efforts have been mostly ineffective, technological innovations that reduce waste and the costs of safe disposal may limit opportunities for waste traffickers. The right mix of subsidies and taxation as well as monitoring and compliance at the local level could make legal disposal more attractive, and thus further inhibit criminal opportunities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-146
Number of pages13
JournalTrends in Organized Crime
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law


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