Council calls for help on blue bins

The Athens city council has appealed to the state-owned Hellenic Recovery & Recycling Corporation (HERRCO) for assistance in improving its recycling program. Regular rubbish trucks collecting recyclable material, consumers failing to sort waste before placing it in blue bins and an insufficient number of dumpsters are some of the program’s key problems. George Dimopoulos, Athens’s deputy mayor responsible for recycling and cleaning, told Kathimerini the city needs to add 6,000 recycling bins to the current 1,900, but added that rubbish collection resources are tight. «In order to reach 6,000 blue bins we need another 160 employees along with the respective wage, fuel and truck maintenance costs,» he said. «We are asking HERRCO to assist in the collection procedure,» he added. HERRCO provides the blue bins but municipalities are responsible for rubbish collection. Dimopoulos said the Environment Ministry needs to change the broader framework regulating recycling programs as a means of overcoming funding problems. According to HERRCO, it is not contractually obliged to provide money for rubbish collection. Meanwhile, a study commissioned by Skai Radio and Television indicated that 75 percent of respondents believe the government ought to create a separate Environment Ministry to deal solely with environmental issues.