By Bejay Browne
CONFUSION at a new green point in Peyia has resulted in municipality trucks full of waste being turned away, according to officials.
Peyia councillor Linda Leblanc said that chaos ensued following a number of trucks not being permitted to dump municipality waste, such as garden rubbish, at the newly-opened site which has only been operating for a couple of weeks.
Recently, a fire at Coral Bay garden-waste disposal site saw the council take the decision to close the area and Leblanc said that the waste is still smouldering a month later.
“We thought that the new green point would ease the situation but it’s chaos as it seems we have nowhere to take our rubbish.”
The problem seems to have arisen due to the fact that the previous council took a decision to privatise garbage services in parts of Peyia, the tourist area, and subcontract it out to a private company. This has slashed operational costs in the area by half, according to Leblanc, but has resulted in chaos.
The municipality is facing further garbage disposal problems as unions are up in arms over recent suggestions to try and cover irregular rubbish collections, due to staff on sick leave.
Leblanc said Peyia was effectively spilt in two with the tourist area being serviced by a private contractor and other areas by the municipality staff. The latter is experiencing problems, with collection she added, due to long term staff illnesses. She noted that no extra staff could be employed following a recent government freeze in an attempt to curb costs.
Leblanc said:” Unions say that each rubbish truck must have four people on it, as opposed to two people with private companies. Unfortunately some of the refuse employees are on long-term sickness and this means that it’s no longer possible to do two collections of rubbish a week in the area covered by the municipality staff.”
She said that heated discussions over a suggestion to privatise a quarter of the municipality area for a few weeks as a temporary solution to cover the tourist season led to staff threatening to strike.
“They can’t clean correctly and the situation is ridiculous, we have to find a solution. They don’t want privatisation but major changes are coming anyway with the amalgamation of services in a few weeks’ time.
The matter will be further discussed by the council on Thursday, she said.
Andreas Chrysathanou, the chairman of the Paphos refuse disposal sites committee, and a Paphos councillor, told the Cyprus Mail: “Of course Peyia municipality trucks may use the new site. However, if a private company, which isn’t using recognised municipality trucks complete with a logo, is subcontracted, the company must prove that they have a contract to dispose of inert waste, such as garden rubbish, and apply for a licence from us. This is the correct procedure, and the law.”
Meanwhile, Chrysanthou said that the subject of implementing a much needed fifth green point to serve Paphos was discussed at Paphos municipality’s council meeting on Wednesday evening.
“We have given instruction to the technical department to find another suitable location, and speedily. An environmental impact study will be completed and we hope to get a licence before the end of the years, otherwise the project will lose EU funding.”
An initial fifth green point at Mouttalos was abandoned after complaints by residents.
The four new green points, which are now operational, are at Koloni, Ayia Varvara, Peyia and Polis.