Burning trash provokes split

The government and local authorities appeared to be at loggerheads yesterday about how to handle Attica’s garbage problem as experts unveiled a plan for waste management in the capital and beyond. Environment and Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias expressed serious reservations about burning refuse, noting that it was «four times more expensive» than landfilling. But Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis suggested that burning was acceptable. «I would burn Athens’s garbage if Mr Souflias would let me do so,» he said. Kaklamanis made his comments following the presentation by a group of Athens-based scientists of a new plan for waste management, proposing a combination of dumping, sorting and burning to handle the capital’s waste problem. Souflias, addressing a seminar on alternative forms of recycling, blamed local authorities for the lack of progress achieved by recycling schemes and the limited participation of citizens in such projects. He called on local authorities to «implement recycling programs in a responsible manner.»

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