Composting mooted as solution for trash woes

The widespread practice of composting, as part of a broader recycling campaign, would have a radical impact on reducing the volume of garbage that ends up in Attica?s landfills and could gradually solve the capital?s waste management problem, conservation experts agreed during a debate on Wednesday.

According to Philippos Kirkitsos, head of the Ecological Recycling Society, a nongovernmental organization, municipalities should provide residents with separate dumpsters for each kind of recyclable material. ?This can be done and should be done… it will reduce the cost of waste management and result in the more effective use of garbage trucks,? Kirkitsos said.

Noting that some 2.3 million tons of trash are produced in Attica every year, the head of the Ecologist Greens, Nikos Chrysogelos, said the priority should be to reduce the volume of garbage ending up in landfills. Instead of the creation of two new landfills in Keratea and Grammatiko, in southeastern and northeastern Attica respectively, Chrysogelos?s party proposes the creation of composting units for people to deposit their organic waste, after separating it from nonbiodegradable trash. Chrysogelos also proposed that each municipality be charged a certain amount per ton of trash produced as an incentive to boost recycling and said that incineration should be ruled out as an excessively costly and polluting form of waste management.

Attica Regional Governor Yiannis Sgouros, who also attended the discussion, agreed that composting and recycling were the only long-term solutions to the capital?s waste problem. ?By 2014, there will be no more space for us to bury our trash unless we find solutions now,? Sgouros said.