Athens mayor plans new landfills, recycling units

Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis yesterday heralded the construction of at least two recycling plants and two or three more landfills in Attica within the next five years in a bid to tackle the capital’s chronic waste management problem. Kaklamanis made his comments following a visit to a temporary extension of the city’s saturated Ano Liosia landfill, and adjacent recycling and incineration units, with Piraeus Mayor Panayiotis Fassoulas. «Over the next five years, central and local government must work together to create one or two recycling plants if we hope to enter a new phase where public health and the environment are protected,» Kaklamanis said. But he said the creation of extra landfills in Attica in the meantime was unavoidable. The extension of the Ano Liosia landfill, at Fyli, is to act as a stopgap until the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, rules on whether a new permanent landfill can start operating on an adjacent site. Authorities are also awaiting court decisions on plans to build another two landfills, one in Keratea in southern Attica, and one in Grammatiko in northern Attica. Residents in both of the targeted sites have mounted court challenges against the plans, citing health concerns. During his visit yesterday Kaklamanis also spoke with workers at the Ano Liosia landfill extension and pledged to have their professions categorized as hazardous, a privilege offering early retirement. «It is shameful that this has not already been done,» he said. Fassoulas, for his part, stressed the importance of adopting «a new model of managing and processing waste using new technologies.»