Dump solution in sight as trash pile grows

As garbage piled up on Athens streets yesterday on the third day of a walkout by staff at Attica’s only landfill, Deputy Public Works Minister Themistoklis Xanthopoulos appealed for tolerance from those living close to the overburdened dump as a solution was just weeks away. An alternative dumping site will be found for the thousands of tons of processed waste being disposed of at the Ano Liosia landfill by December at the latest, Xanthopoulos told Parliament, reiterating a pledge by Minister Giorgos Souflias. He asked residents of Ano Liosia «to be patient for another three months,» adding that a solution may come «much sooner.» Xanthopoulos was responding to a question by PASOK MP and former parliamentary speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis, who warned of the presence of toxic heavy metals in the sludge at Ano Liosia. Xanthopoulos countered that laboratory tests show all substances are at safe levels. The landfill’s 150 employees, who started their strike on Monday citing unacceptable working conditions, are due to meet today to decide on further action. Ano Liosia residents are due to block the entrance to the landfill on Monday.