Fears over toxic waste buried in yards like "hidden treasure"

PANCEVO, Serbia -- Dozens of rusty barrels and plastic tubs filled with a dark, oily liquid cluttered a muddy yard where chickens roamed. More brimming containers packed a wooden barn. The property in northern Serbia, located next to farmland and a railway line, stored about 100 tons of likely hazardous waste altogether, the country's environmental protection ministry said. Authorities found it last month, along with another big batch cemented into the walls of a nearby brick factory.

A string of similar discoveries has triggered alarms in Serbia, where masses of poorly secured industrial waste are believed to have been dumped or hidden and could pose long-term environmental and public health dangers.