Illegal dumps disappearing

Some 400 illegal landfills still operating in different parts of the country will have been shut down by summer, Deputy Interior Minister Thanassis Nakos said on Saturday after opening a six-million euro waste processing facility near Trikala, central Greece. Nakos, who has been entrusted with clearing up makeshift dumps littering the provinces, said the government was ahead of schedule, but stressed that it needed the cooperation of municipal authorities to get the job done. «The local administration here has excelled, unlike in other regions where authorities remain inactive, to the detriment of the environment and the health of locals,» Nakos said. Trikala’s new sanitary landfill has been designed to serve all of Thessaly, the minister said, noting that 88 illegal dumps in the greater area had been shut. According to figures released by a ministerial committee, 2,108 dumps were operating illegally last summer. Authorities say there are some 400 left, though some environmental groups have expressed doubts about the accuracy of this figure.