NEWS

Andros in waste management impasse

Authorities on the Cycladic island of Andros are at a loss about what to do as hundreds of tons of trash are accumulating in the island?s garbage bins nearly a month after an illegal landfill collapsed into the sea.

Between 250 and 300 tons of rubbish are believed to be festering in dumpsters and in yards and balconies as local authorities have appealed to islanders not to bring their trash down to the streets.

Garbage collection trucks remain filled with trash as they have nowhere to deposit it. And it remains unclear what is to be done with some 10 to 15 tons of rubbish being produced on the island every day as plans for the construction of a waste management facility have foundered on objections by conservationists questioning the environmental soundness of the projects.

?It is a deadlock,? Andros Mayor Yiannis Glynos told Kathimerini. ?We cannot take the trash off the island as that is illegal. And we have nowhere else to put it.?

The mayor said that a temporary solution being considered is the packaging and storage of the garbage but he stressed that this would not be viable for long.

The fundamental problem is that the authorities on the island have failed to designate a plot for the creation of a sanitary waste disposal plant so that the illegal landfill that collapsed last month can be closed down once and for all.

The two sites designated for landfills over the past few years were rejected following opposition by conservationists. However sources at the Environment Ministry indicated that both projects failed to get off the ground due to objections by residents.

For the time being, authorities on Andros are looking for places to store their trash and have spread nets along the coastline to hold the trash that collapsed into the sea last month until an effort is organized to gather it.