New dump to relieve Attica

Municipal authorities yesterday called off plans to close Attica’s main landfill in Ano Liosia on Sunday after the Public Works Ministry assured them a new temporary dump would relieve the overburdened landfill until a permanent solution is found for Attica’s waste disposal problem. On Tuesday, the Union of Municipal Authorities in Attica (ESDKNA) had threatened to close down the landfill as it was reaching capacity. But, following talks yesterday with Dimitris Katsiyiannis, the ministry’s general secretary, a senior official, said the union had accepted the stopgap solution. «The solution arrived at today is not a long-term one but abides by regional planning regulations and will be adequate until more essential solutions are implemented,» he said. The ministry is also reported to have reassured municipal authorities that the Ano Liosia dump would receive no more partially treated sludge from the waste processing plant on the island of Psyttaleia, off Piraeus. Last week, the Athens Water and Sewage Company (EYDAP) revealed that thousands of tons of this sludge might be shipped to Sudan, provoking outrage from environmentalists. Yesterday, Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias criticized journalists for «demonizing» the idea of transferring the sludge, stressing that it was just one of several options being considered. Souflias also stressed the sludge is not toxic and said a special factory for drying it out would be operating on Psyttaleia by spring 2007. Meanwhile, a report made public yesterday by the environmental group Greenpeace emphasized that burning waste results in serious consequences on people’s health, the environment and the economy. The report also called for a drive to boost recycling.