Where local rubbish is to be managed

Legislation will be pushed through, in all probability before the end of March, in order to settle the question of waste management sites in Attica once and for all. Environment and Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou made the announcement after 15 years of stonewalling by municipal authorities as well as central government. The new sites will have to be ready by 2005, when the Ano Liosia landfill will be full. The study for the solid waste management scheme for Attica looked at several sites before settling on four, which sources say are located at Phyli, Keratea, Trypes near Kapandriti, and at Grammatiko. Delays in the study means that time is quickly running out. Snowfall in the past few months has prevented surveyors from carrying out inspections in time. Expert opinion by local authorities will be waived, as they disagree with the whole project. The new sites will have integrated waste treatment facilities, from landfills to sorting centers to compost plants. A package of measures foresees a gradual reduction in the amount of waste, so that the average annual production of garbage does not exceed 1.6 million tons annually. Recovery of 25 percent of waste by 2005 is one of the goals of the Attica region’s waste disposal plan, and by 2010, 50 percent of packaging. A second aim of the scheme is to reduce food scraps in garbage bound for landfills to 75 percent at most of the equivalent amount of waste produced in 1995 (840,000 tons in Attica). The integrated scheme provides for: a) Five central waste transfer points with a capacity of 400 to 1,000 tons a day and another 13 at various points in the Athens prefecture, with two in western Attica and three in eastern Attica. The 18 points will handle 640,000 tons of urban waste annually. b) The construction of a center for sorting recyclable materials, one in western Attica and three in eastern Attica. The Schistos waste transfer point will, after works are carried out, be able to handle bulky objects. It presently has a capacity of 1,000 tons of garbage a day. Another at Elaionas will also be able to handle bulk waste. The Hymettus point, serving southeastern Attica, will probably be located in the Kareas district of Vyronas, where there already is a waste transfer point. The transfer point for the northern suburbs, probably where Maroussi, Pefki and Iraklion meet, will have a recycling sorting center. Three transfer points in eastern Attica will hopefully reduce the number of garbage dumps. Megara and Neos Peramos will share one, Villia, Erythres and Oinoe another, while a floating transfer point will serve the islands of Hydra, Spetses, Poros and Agistri.