Underground trash bins to lighten city load

A European Union-funded initiative aimed at improving the capital’s woeful waste management is to be implemented starting on Friday, with the installation of the first of 20 underground trash dumpsters, Kathimerini has learned.

The dumpster is to be submerged 3.5 meters underground in Aghios Thomas park in Goudi, eastern Athens, chiefly to serve the two nearby hospitals – Laiko and Paidon. Hospital staff and residents will be able to dump refuse through a funnel linking the dumpster to the road surface.

Although its volume is 6 cubic meters it will in fact have the capacity to hold up to 20 cubic meters of trash – the equivalent of what 45 regular garbage dumpsters can hold – thanks to a compressing mechanism.

Underground bins, already in use in other European countries including Spain, are increasingly popular as they keep dirt and smells off the streets.

Andreas Varelas, City Hall’s deputy mayor in charge of sanitation, said there were multiple advantages to the underground bins. Only one truck and one driver are required to empty each dumpster. Also the fact that the bins are underground thwarts would-be scavengers.

Similar bins are to be installed at other key points in Athens including on Mesogeion Avenue, on Vassilissis Sofias Street and at Koumoundourou Square. Excavations have already started in those areas, Varelas said.