Go-slow at dump, in trash collection

Municipal garbage trucks started collecting trash from overflowing dumpsters yesterday following a work-to-rule protest by staff at the capital’s main landfill in Ano Liosia, northwest of Athens. Meanwhile, incoming Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis requested a meeting with Interior Minister Yiannis Ragousis and Attica Regional Governor Yiannis Sgouros about how to tackle the enduring problem of trash management. The action by landfill staff hampered efforts to clean up thousands of tons of trash that had accumulated on the streets of the capital during a six-day strike by municipal garbage collectors. The landfill staff launched their action on Monday as an expression of solidarity with 100 workers whose short-term contracts are not being renewed. The municipal garbage collectors have been demanding better pay and job security. Kaminis yesterday appealed for a resolution to both disputes, noting that failure to reach a consensus would result in Athenians spending Christmas with 200,000 tons of trash in their neighborhoods. Many streets in central Athens and a number of suburbs were swamped in garbage yesterday, with Thiseio, Pangrati and Petralona among the worst-affected areas. Giorgos Hardas, head of the landfill workers’ union, told Kathimerini yesterday that the skeleton staff on duty at the site had done all they could to keep it operating. But there were reports of garbage trucks waiting in lines outside the landfill that stretched several kilometers. Most of the trucks were turned away, with thousands of tons of trash. It is unclear whether this garbage was returned to dumpsters or disposed of elsewhere.

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