By Angelos Anastasiou
There will be no disruptions or other issues to the operation of the Kotsiatis landfill, Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos assured on Wednesday, following a meeting with Agriculture Minister Nicos Kouyialis, interior ministry permanent undersecretary Constantinos Nicolaides, Nicosia Mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis, and Strovolos Mayor Lazaros Savvides.
In a statement, the interior ministry said the Kotsiatis landfill would not close or be left without an operator, and the Nicosia region would not be “inundated with garbage”, as press reports suggested on Wednesday.
The issue had come up in September, when Yiorkadjis informed the interior and agriculture ministries that the municipality would no longer accept responsibility for operating Kotsiatis as of January 4, due to the local authorities serviced at the landfill to pay their dues, which Nicosia is unable to cover.
At Wednesday’s meeting, issues relating to the operation of the landfill were discussed in light of a recent government decision that responsibility for the operation of landfills is transferred to each district’s Domestic Waste-management Site (DWS) board.
On Tuesday, the finance ministry approved a budget for Nicosia’s DWS, which is headed by Savvides.
It was agreed that the Nicosia municipality would remain responsible for the operation of Kotsiatis until January 11, and that discussion on the issue would resume next week, with a view to reaching a final decision on the landfill’s operation.
In light of the above, the interior ministry said, the meeting already tentatively examined all possibilities relating to procuring site-operation contracts.
The issue appears to be complicated by the fact that, despite assurances, the DWS’ budget does not include the operation of Kotsiatis.
Until such time as pen is put to paper on a supplementary budget to cover the operation of Kotsiatis, it is unlikely that the DWS will accept the operator’s responsibility.
As well, Savvides told daily Phileleftheros that the DWS will oversee the waste-management operations of a contractor, hiring which is bound to take some time.
During this period, Savvides was quoted by the paper as saying, Nicosia will need to operate the site.