OPINION

Trash and hypocrisy

Environment Minister Vasso Papandreou has been criticizing everyone for the escalation of Attica’s waste disposal problem: local authorities, conservationists and specialists. She has accused them of hypocrisy. Despite enduring hundreds of filthy garbage dumps for years, they now reject the new landfills which are basically a «scientific» method of waste management that is implemented effectively all over the world. But nobody wants a national garbage site in their backyard because of the pollution it creates, the health risk it poses to residents and the negative impact it has on the value of property in the area. If Papandreou really wants to see who is hypocritical in this whole affair, she should try opening a small waste-recycling site in the immaculate northern suburbs of Ekali and Kifissia, or in Glyfada. Essentially, we are exempting the residents of such high-class areas and densely populated inner-city districts – where, incidentally, there is a large concentration of voters – from having to tolerate masses of garbage. And it is not just the nuisance and the pollution; there is also the disturbance caused by the hundreds of garbage trucks trundling to and from the site. And there are other issues. Residents near the landfill site of Ano Liosia note that the technology used in the old-style garbage dumps falls far short of sanitation standards. Yet, since it is favored by a handful of major contractors, it is unlikely to change without resistance.