Tagarades dump to be made safer

Authorities in Thessaloniki said yesterday that they would spend some 3 million euros improving safety conditions at the Tagarades landfill, east of the city, where a fire had burned trash for more than a week. The head of the local authority, Yiannis Zournas, said officials struggled to extinguish the blaze but efforts would now focus on ensuring that such a fire would not happen again. The government has offered 3 million euros for improvements at the 100-hectare site, which has been operating since 1981. Zournas said authorities and scientists at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki have planned to set up a system that would monitor air pollution around the dump. He added that agreements to monitor the water table and soil in the area are imminent. Meanwhile, the Prefecture of Thessaloniki assured residents yesterday that fruit and vegetables from the area had not been tainted with dioxins produced by the fire. Officials did, however, warn consumers to wash the produce thoroughly.