Krakow has had a turbulent past: it has suffered 5 earthquakes, 13 floods, 25 major fires and 17 sieges. Steel production at Nowa Huta has fallen over the past few years, so air pollution has declined, but it is still severe enough to inflict a sore throat on the visitor within a day or so of arrival. Unofficial estimates suggest that over half of the food produced in the Krakow region is unfit for human consumption. In spite of the apathy and the ignorance of the older generation, the young were present in vast numbers on the day a waste conference in Katowice was held. Recycling is a tricky business, as many countries wealthier and more practised in the art of waste disposal than Poland have already discovered. Darek was investigating the possibility of setting up recycling schemes for glass, plastic and other waste materials beside paper, but he had yet to make his figures work.