Landfills should be the first priority

Athens, Thessaloniki and other cities are subject to unacceptable conditions as regards waste disposal and cleanliness. The guidelines for tackling these problems are there (in new European legislation). They cite prevention, minimizing waste production, reuse, recycling, energy recovery and final disposal. We must cast off our old habits, and new local government officials, whose responsibilities will include waste management, must take the bull by the horns. Getting rid of the garbage dumps is the first priority; it is madness to pay fines while wages and pensions are being cut. This is because some people consider that their neighborhood would be ruined if waste management facilities were located there, meanwhile they throw their own trash into ditches and streams. Technologies need to be chosen based on the cost of the investment and on the final price to the public, on the environment and public health. At the same time, we must finds ways of generating less waste and promoting recycling. Last but not least, it is absolutely necessary to have an information campaign and the active participation of the public.

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