NEWS

Thessaloniki suburbs still awash with trash

Twelve days since POE-OTA, the federation of municipal workers? unions, ended its strike action, many neighborhoods across Thessaloniki are still choked with trash.

Adding to the city?s woes, Mayor Yiannis Boutaris on Tuesday warned that 900 sanitation workers, of a total 1,500, will have to leave the service if the Interior Ministry fails to renew their eight-month contracts in the next 20 days.

Although most of the garbage has been collected from the city?s main avenues in the wake of the near three-week strike, heaps of trash are still piling up in many of the suburbs, such as Toumba. City officials say the problem is caused by a shortage of garbage trucks. The municipality needs at least 40 vehicles, but at the moment only 26 operate in the city and four of these have broken down.

Officials yesterday said trash collection should be back to normal on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, reports on Tuesday said cleaning vehicles in the neighboring municipality of Thermaikos are out of operation due to a fuel shortage.