Up to a hundred barrels of discarded drug waste have been found around the northern city of Lommel, in Limburg, bolstering concerns among local authorities over a growing problem in the area.
Police in Lommel, which shares a border with the Netherlands, found a first batch of discarded barrels on Monday night, according to VRT.
The local fire department and civil protection unit were called to the site of the discovery on Vlieguitstraat, after police determined that the barrels were filled with toxic chemicals and most likely came from a drug-manufacturing laboratory.
That same night, twenty additional barrels were found on Vijverstraat, located just under 3 kilometres away from the first location.
From the night of Monday to Tuesday around a hundred barrels were found six different dumpsites of Lommel, including in areas around the canal and national roads, HLN reports.
The fire department of Northern Limburg said on Facebook that they were working jointly with police on the findings, asking residents to steer clear of the sites, which had been cordoned-off.
The discovery of the barrels in Lommel comes less than a week after 436 discarded barrels of drug waste were found in the neighbouring municipality of Bocholt.
"It is already the third time this year that barrels of drug waste have been found in our city," Lommel Mayor Bob Nijs told the outlet, adding that he feared for the day that "children might come into contact with those things."
Nijs said that while the problem of drug and chemical waste dumpings particularly impacted bordering towns and cities, it was becoming a problem for the whole province of Limburg.
The Brussels Times