As landfill workers strike, trash overflows

Workers at Attica’s only landfill in Ano Liosia yesterday entered the second week of a strike which has closed the site to garbage trucks and resulted in thousands of tons of trash piling up on the streets. So far, there is no solution to the dispute in sight. Yesterday, the Union of Municipal Authorities in Attica (ESDKNA) called for the resignation of Costas Kostoulas, the president of the Athens Water Supply and Sewage Company (EYDAP), over accusations he made last week claiming ESDKNA was encouraging the strike. Workers say they are striking because of the unhealthy conditions created by the dumping of sludge at the landfill. The government has pledged to stop transferring the sewage there by the end of the year but the employees, backed by local residents who protested at the site yesterday, say they want the process to be brought to a halt immediately and will not reopen the dump otherwise. However, workers did allow some 100 garbage trucks to empty their contents at the site over the weekend. ESDKNA president Giorgos Mastorakos claimed the process of biodegrading the sludge, which is also supposed to eradicate its smell, is not being done properly.