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Following Protests, Russian Town Plans Referendum Over Garbage Dump


Russians rally outside the Volokolamsk town hall demanding the closure of the Yadrovo domestic-waste landfill on April 1.

Lawmakers in the town of Volokolamsk, near Moscow, have decided to hold a referendum on the future of a garbage dump that has been emitting toxic fumes and prompting protests by residents.

The mayor of Volokolamsk, Pyotr Lazarev, said members of the town's Council of Deputies decided on April 10 to organize a referendum in order to resolve problems linked to the landfill.

The date of the referendum will be decided later, Lazarev said.

Residents have been demonstrating against the dump since January, and their protests intensified after dozens of children were rushed to hospitals with symptoms of gas poisoning on March 21.

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

Thousands protested in Volokolamsk in the latest rally on April 1, demanding the dump's closure.

On the eve of the rallies, police detained one of the protest organizers, Artyom Lyubimov, who was charged with and found guilty of disobeying police and sentenced to 15 days in jail.

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

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax
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