Plan to rid Greece of its rubble

The sight of piles of abandoned building materials around Greece may become a thing of the past should the government succed in passing tighter regulations on contractors and plans for greater waste recycling proposed yesterday. A draft presidential decree, put forward by the Public Works Ministry and signed by four other ministries, proposes that, starting January 1 2006, rubble from construction, excavations and demolitions should be collected. By 2015, the target is for at least 50 percent of waste collected each year to be recycled at special centers. If the draft decree becomes law, owners or contractors looking to undertake building work will be required to submit the relevant paperwork confirming that they will comply with the new ruling to get planning permission for the project. Within 30 days of the work’s completion, they will then have to get it signed off by a special section of the town-planning department, which will confirm that the construction waste has been collected and sent for recycling or use elsewhere.