The incoming mayor of the seaside Peloponnesian town of Aigio is appealing to Athens for funds to tackle a mounting trash problem, amid fears that some 5,000 tons of garbage dumped on the town’s outskirts, including at popular beaches such as Selianitika and Akoli, poses a serious public health risk.
Aigio’s landfill was closed down as a public health and environmental hazard in February by court order following a complaint by residents in the area, resulting in widespread illegal dumping.
“It was over-congested and badly operated, prompting the residents in the area to take quite justified judicial action to have it shut down. The result, though, is that we have a terrible situation on our hands,” says Dimitris Kalogeropoulos.
He added that the cost of transporting the town’s trash to other landfills is prohibitive as a long-term solution at 150 euros per ton.
“If the municipal authority is not granted emergency funding soon, we will simply be unable to respond to the situation,” Kalogeropoulos said, adding that one of his priorities as mayor when he takes over in September is to decrease the volume of trash produce by Aigio’s residents by promoting recycling.