Figures expose Greeks’ poor waste disposal habits


More than 40 percent of the waste placed in blue dumpsters designated for recyclable materials is estimated to end up in the country’s landfills, according to 2016 data seen by Kathimerini.

Of the 365,285 tons of trash that reached 33 of Greece’s 39 waste sorting centers (there is no available data on the other six), 142,340 tons, or 39 percent, was nonrecyclable and had to be redirected and deposited at one of the country’s landfill sites.

Data showed that 47 percent of the waste that arrived at Greece’s largest collection center for recyclable materials (KDAY) in Koropi, eastern Attica, ended up at a landfill.

At Greece’s second-biggest KDAY, in the western Aspropyrgos district, that figure was 54 percent. The data suggests a lack of public awareness, or plain indifference, experts say, about the type of rubbish that must be disposed in blue dumpsters.

Greece’s recycling rate is 17 percent, below the European Union average of 39 percent.