Greece’s waste tip efforts trashed

As the row about the Ano Liosia landfill raged on yesterday, the European Court of Justice found Greece guilty of not complying with EU rules on waste disposal and allowing more than 1,000 illegal dumps to operate around the country. The court found that the government had not done enough to «ensure that waste is disposed of without endangering human health and without harming the environment.» According to the government’s most recent records, there are 1,453 illegal waste sites still being used in Greece. Although the government unveiled plans in May to bring this situation under control, the European Court said the target date of 2008 to meet public health requirements was not good enough. The government did not comment on the ruling yesterday. Meanwhile, as garbage trucks continued to collect the trash that had amassed during an eight-day strike by workers at Attica’s only landfill, local authorities called on the government to stop taking treated waste to the dump. Workers returned to Ano Liosia on the condition that no more sludge would be taken there, although the government had pledged to stop transferring it there at the end of the year. Western Attica Prefect Aristides Arkoudaris said an inspection of the facility revealed health and safety regulations were not being observed and that the ground where the sewage was being dumped was being polluted.