Attica’s new landfill sites aiming for completion by the summer of 2006

Three new landfills are expected to start operating in the summer of 2006, followed later on by two Waste Transfer Stations (WTS), it was announced early this month. The three new receptacles for Athens’s garbage will be built at Fyli, Keratea and Grammatiko, as decided by Parliament one-and-a-half years ago, while the WTS will be built at Elaionas in western Athens and Trizina. General Secretary of the Attica Region H. Maniatis made the announcement on February 2 following approval of funding by the EU’s Cohesion Fund. The total cost is expected to come to 153 million euros. The announcement for the competition of the works will be made by the end of February, Maniatis said, and the new landfills will be ready within 18 months. Since local residents in the selected areas are expected to react, the general secretary asked everyone to consider the consequences of delays in the essential works. «We will have garbage mounds in our alleys,» he said. He expressed determination to see the works through. In an attempt to soothe residents’ fears, Maniatis pointed out that only if the landfills are not constructed or operated properly would there be a problem. The amount of trash ending up in the landfills will be very small if modern waste management methods are used, though he said he did not exclude pyrolysis (decomposition by heat in the absence of oxygen) and incineration, wherever conditions permit. To be put out for tender in the coming days is the first phase of the western Attica landfill at Skalistiri, in the municipality of Fyli, budgeted at 53.4 million euros; construction of the northeastern Attica landfill at Mavro Vouno in Grammatiko, set to cost 21.4 million euros; and a landfill at Keratea, with a budget of 49 million euros. To obtain Cohesion Fund money, an agreement was signed between the Interior Ministry, the General Secretariat of the Attica Region and ESDKNA, which set out the specifications for constructing the first landfill at Fyli. Responsibility for overall realization of the work rests with the Attica Region, while ESDKNA will manage the work after completion. Maniatis also assured there would be no wastage of EU funds, while he pointed out that the Attica Region had the highest absorption rate (41.10 percent) of all 13 regions in Greece.

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