By Bejay Browne
GARBAGE trucks shut down a landfill site in Paphos after they dumped their loads outside the entrance at the order of the town’s mayor, who is reportedly livid that the installation is refusing to accept trucks on a Sunday.
The move comes in the wake of the news that a retrospective deal had been struck with the operators of the landfill in Paphos, close to Marathounda village, which will see reimbursements made to local authorities and a drastic reduction in costs.
The chairman of the board which is responsible for Paphos landfill (HYTA), Andreas Chrysanthou, told the Cyprus Mail that the mayor’s actions are reprehensible and illegal.
“The mayor has lost his mind and is becoming dangerous for Paphos. On Sunday, the mayor gave a direct order for the trucks to dump their rubbish outside the entrance to HYTA, he did this consciously and this is illegal and against the law.”
The governing board is made up of nine members, including the mayors of the four districts and four councillors. The current operator’s contract originally ran out on July 15, 2015 and was renewed for six months by the board despite the opposition of Paphos mayor Phedonas Phedonos.
Phedonos refused to pay for the original six-month extension because of previous allegations of corruption. He also argued that the board was paying too much for the service.
The contract has now been renewed for a further 12 months, though charges have been slashed.
Chrysanthou explained that the operators of the rubbish tip had warned Paphos municipality 15 days ago, that it would now be closed to municipality trucks on Sundays.
“They didn’t accept the rubbish on Sunday. They have done so out of courtesy for the last ten years, but as there is a dispute over money, and they still haven’t been paid outstanding fees, it’s closed. The mayor has refused to speak to the press. He has created this situation and won’t answer to anyone.”
It seemed as if the problems plaguing HYTA had been resolved as a deal was struck which meant that gate fees have now been decreased at the landfill and as of January 15, MSW (municipal solid waste) is now charged at €16 euros per tonne, over one third of a saving on charges a year ago.
Chrysanthou said that the mayor ordered an illegal action and according to the law which concerns how a council works and operates, employees can refuse such an order but they did not.
“So I accuse them as well, they shouldn’t have obeyed.”
Chrysanthou admitted that there is no contingency plan in place and he has no idea how the situation will be handled on Tuesday morning when garbage trucks of Paphos municipality start operating at 4am.
“Where will they go and report to?” he questioned, adding, “the mayor is being ridiculous, he is too stubborn, he thinks he is infallible.”