NEWS

Psyttaleia sediment an obstacle

Over 300,00 tons of sediment end up at the Ano Liosia dump every day. The sediment comes from the Psyttaleia biological waste processing unit and is the by-product of waste collected in the Saronic Gulf. The method of dealing with the sediment, which until recently was simply buried with the rest of the trash at Ano Liosia, came to the forefront recently when a landslide caused the dump to collapse and the municipality put a ban on EYDAP water utility tank trucks from transporting sediment from Psyttaleia. As a result, several metric tons of sediment were left on the island of Psyttaleia, with the authorities managing it as best they could. The collapse of the dump and its causes (mainly the mud from Psyttaleia) prompted intervention by the European Commission, and Greece is now facing the preliminary stages of yet another European court case. At their meeting with the Commission’s inspectors, the Greeks promised to send a reply by end-November with statistics on the quantities of mud being sent to Ano Liosia and the process of repairing the damage from the landslide. Some form of political follow-up on this issue is also expected, with a meeting involving both sides, since the Environment Ministry is considering, however belatedly, the creation of a processing system for the sediment from Psyttaleia. This system would dry out the mud, reducing its volume by as much as 75 percent. The Greek government is asking for the project to be co-funded by the EU. Converting waste to fuel The operating level of the biological waste processing systems (some of which either do not work or are functioning below par) dominated the discussion between Greek and EU officials. Experts say that sediment from biological waste processing can be used as fuel or fertilizer once any toxins have been neutralized. When properly processed, the sediment from Psyttaleia and other processing units could be used as fuel in cement factories as it is 95 percent organic and has the same heat-producing potential as lignite (coal).