OPINION

Dumps and reactions

Phyli, Grammatiko and Keratea were earmarked to host Attica’s new waste management sites, while Kifissia, Hellenikon, Goudi and Eleonas will host four relay stations for garbage trucks. The discontent of residents of the above areas is understandable, and they will probably react to the government plans. No one wants a rubbish dump near his house. However, we all produce waste on a daily basis and so long as we have no other way to process garbage, we will need a place to bury it. To be sure, it is becoming ever-more difficult to find landfill sites in an ever-more densely populated Attica, and we should acknowledge that government planners did everything within their powers to find the optimal solutions, however annoying their decisions may be to some groups of people. The worst thing that could happen at this point (in light of the looming civic protests and the spasmodic reaction by a government that is anxious to meet the specified deadlines) is for both sides to engage in a fruitless confrontation that will end up hurting the interests of everyone involved. All sides must focus on one common and pressing goal: strict implementation and adequate funding for use of the most up-to-date and effective scientific methods that will protect the environment and the surroundings of the designated areas. The technology to protect the health of the citizens and shield them from unpleasant smells does exist. But all these require money, strict government monitoring, and proper road planning in order to convince the residents that they will not be subjected to the ills of the Ano Liosia district. Residents of the rest of the Attica basin must provide funds to implement these projects and upgrade the areas which have been picked for the rubbish dumps. Many rightly claim that it is not possible that millions of people living in Attica are held ransom to the objections of a few residents in sparsely populated areas that have been earmarked to host the dumps. In the same way, however, the millions who produce tons of waste every day must shoulder some of the cost of minimizing the repercussions of being on the receiving end of everyone else’s trash.