Europe's energy crisis is forcing Polish citizens to burn trash and Romania to limit the price of firewood as demand for alternative heat sources rises sharply.
Residents of suburbs outside Warsaw told Bloomberg that they now smell burning garbage every day, and some have noticed that garbage collection has decreased.
The European Union has banned imports of Russian coal, particularly hitting coal-dependent Poland. Poles rushed to stockpile coal before the ban went into effect in August, but according to surveys, 60 percent of Polish households do not have enough coal to survive the winter.
Meanwhile, the Romanian government has capped prices for firewood at 400 lei ($80) per cubic meter and 2,000 lei per ton of wood pellets.
Earlier, Romania had capped gas and electricity prices to cushion the price spike. The popularity of firewood in Romania as a cheap alternative to heat has increased, and the country has pushed citizens to use firewood as a heat source even before the war in Ukraine began.