Attica slowly inches toward new garbage disposal system

Attica is to have a new system of waste management, which is to be a combination of sorting waste at the source, mechanical recycling and eventually burying waste in landfills. The 6,000 metric tons of waste produced each day in Athens will go to three landfills that are scheduled to go into operation in 2004. April 14 was the date on which the most recent survey on possible waste management sites, which will form the basis of new legislation, was formally delivered. Following dialogue with interested parties, a bill will be tabled after Easter in Parliament. Environmental studies will then be carried out in order to decide which sites are to be landfills and which will become other solid waste management facilities, such as sorting centers. Grammatiko, Polydendri, Keratea and Koropi are the four proposed sites in eastern Attica. A second government decision will decide on waste management facilities in three areas in western Attica – Phyli, Megara and Mandra. But landfills will only be placed in three of all the above areas; the other sites will have centers for recycling items such as tires and spare parts. Difficult choices Of the four eastern Attica sites – where there is the most opposition to the proposals – the recent survey found that both the Kyriakou quarry in Koropi and the Keratea site were suitable for both waste management facilities and landfills. Keratea is the most likely landfill site in southeastern Attica, and Grammatiko for northeastern Attica. Phyli is the most likely landfill site for western Attica. The surveyors drew up a profile of each area, noting both the prospective site’s pros and cons. All four eastern Attica sites met with the criteria laid down by relevant legislation for geological, planning, environmental and functional factors. But the study categorically said there was no site in Attica that was not, or did not border on, forestland, archaeological sites, city limits, industrial parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty or protected areas. It was equally clear that whatever the problems with the proposed sites, there are tried and tested methods for solving them.