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Date Set For Referendum On Garbage Dump Near Moscow

Protesters block a road to the garbage dump near the town of Volokolamsk on April 14.

Local lawmakers in the town of Volokolamsk in the Moscow region have set a date for a referendum on the closure of a garbage dump that has been emitting toxic fumes and prompting protests by residents for months.

Volokolamsk Mayor Pyotr Lazarev said on April 26 that the town council decided to hold the referendum on the Yadrovo landfill's closure on June 17.

Residents have been protesting since January against the Yadrovo dump located on the town's outskirts. The protests intensified after dozens of children were rushed to hospitals with symptoms of gas poisoning on March 21.

The largest rally in Volokolamsk took place on April 1, when several thousand people demanded the closure of the dump.

The high-profile protests caused similar actions against landfills in eight other towns around Moscow on April 14.

The Yadrovo landfill was opened in 2008 and as a dumping site for garbage from Moscow and nearby regions.

Volokolamsk, a town of around 20,000 people, is located some 120 kilometers west of Moscow.

With reporting by Interfax