NEWS

Sanitation funds doubled

In 2008, for the first time in many years, Athens earmarked double the funds in its annual budget for cleaning to around 7.5 million euros. Using the slogan «Find the right spot,» the city has launched a campaign to make people aware of new regulations that were implemented two months ago. A hundred supervisors will advise residents and store owners and also impose fines. For example, pet owners must collect droppings and deposit them in designated places (of which there are currently 17, soon to be increased to 25). More than 2,000 fines have already been imposed. The largest of which was 6,000 euros, levied on a contractor working on a project for a public utility and who dumped rubble on a sidewalk. «So far,» Deputy Mayor Dimopoulos told Kathimerini, «we see that only one supermarket chain has its own waste-management system. The rest throw their trash into the street as they like. The new regulations oblige business owners to use trash bags bearing their logo. Repeated offenses will incur the removal of permits to put tables and chairs in the street. Meanwhile, municipal officials are being trained not to erase files from the records. In order to deal with delays at the trash dump, the city will buy three movable unloading stations. EU funding has been secured for large containers (capacity of about 40 cubic meters), accompanied by small satellite vehicles that will collect trash and dump it in the containers, thus reducing the number of trips to the dump. In 2008 –7.5 million for cleaning -Trash from stores in special bags bearing company logos -Animal droppings at 25 specific points -100 inspectors In 2007 –4.3 million for cleaning -Trash from stores thrown on sidewalks -Animal droppings on sidewalks and in parks -No inspections