Landfill solution could be dumped

Plans to build a temporary landfill to house Attica’s garbage while the capital’s only dump is closed down hit a serious snag yesterday as auditors rejected the proposal, possibly leaving Athens with nowhere to dispose of its trash by the end of the year. The State Audit Council, which examines the way that public money is spent, refused to give its approval to plans to build a landfill site in Fyli, close to the location of the current dump in Ano Liosia. Construction of the 2.8-hectare Fyli landfill in northwest Athens was meant to get under way very shortly as it was destined to take over from the Ano Liosia dump, which the government has pledged to close down in the coming months. Local authorities had filed complaints about the proposals because they do not want to see any more trash being dumped in their area. It is thought these gripes may have swayed the council’s decision. The verdict may not lead to the project’s cancellation but is highly likely to delay it, and time is not on the side of the authorities. The dump at Ano Liosia is also receiving treated sewage and there are fears that within three or four months there will be no space left to dump garbage. Meanwhile, workers at the landfill gave the Union of Municipal Authorities in Attica (ESDKNA), which has overarching authority over the dump, a deadline of next Tuesday to improve conditions there or face an employee strike. The transfer of the sludge at a rapid rate has raised fears for workers’ health.