Fears of garbage pileup mounting

In an effort to avoid a repeat of scenes witnessed in Athens in June when mounds of garbage piled up on the city’s streets, the capital’s mayor, Dora Bakoyannis, yesterday pleaded with Athenians to hold onto their trash as workers at the Ano Liosia landfill closed the dump indefinitely. Bakoyannis asked the city’s residents not to dump their garbage in roadside receptacles over the next few days as employees at the only dump in Attica said they will not accept any more garbage or treated sewage at the site because they feel the working conditions there are unhealthy. The workers have not put a time limit on their industrial action but said they would not return to work until they were given assurances that no more sludge would be disposed of at the landfill. The government has pledged to end the transfer of sewage to Ano Liosia by the end of the year if locals object to the process but employees at the dump want an immediate halt to the practice. The Union of Municipal Authorities in Attica (ESDKNA) has asked the workers to suspend their strike until Monday so a compromise can be found. The employees are due to hold a meeting tomorrow to discuss the matter but a standoff appears to be developing between them and the Athens Water Supply and Sewage Company (EYDAP), which is responsible for the sludge. The head of EYDAP, Costas Kostoulas, accused the workers of not having genuine reasons for their industrial action.