Rubbish row ends, for now

The streets of Athens will be cleaned of the rubbish piles littering the city’s sidewalks in the next few days after striking workers at the region’s only landfill ended their protest yesterday but problems remain as it was a conditional back-to-work agreement. The workers at the Ano Liosia landfill agreed to return to work on the condition that treated sewage, currently being dumped there, will be taken elsewhere. The workers argue that the dumping of the sludge makes work conditions hazardous. If the Athens Water Supply and Sewage Company (EYDAP) tries to deposit the sludge at the landfill with the help of a police escort, the strike will be resumed, the workers said. Thousands of tons of rubbish have been gathering on the city’s streets during the nine-day strike, spilling over on to roads and blocking sidewalks. There was no government reaction to the news yesterday as the state now ponders where to put the tons of sludge gathering at the islet of Psyttaleia, near Piraeus, where the sewage is being treated.