Aegean trash cleaunup to be costly

Gathering hundreds of tons of trash that have drifted into the Aegean Sea following the collapse of an illegal landfill on the Cycladic island of Andros in February will cost some half a million euros that the cash-strapped government can ill afford, it emerged on Tuesday.

Environment Minister Tina Birbili reportedly said that authorities on the island must close what remains of the landfill by June and draft a five-year plan for effective waste management.

Much of the trash that fell from the Andros landfill into the sea has washed up as far south as the Dodecanese. The ecological risk posed by this garbage was discussed in Parliament after Dora Bakoyannis, the head of the Democratic Alliance party, challenged Birbili. ?The collapse of the landfill was not the result of adverse weather conditions but of the tolerance of the state and local authorities in perpetuating a situation of continued illegality and criminal indifference to ecological affairs,? Bakoyannis said.

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