The Larnaca-Famagusta waste management board, comprising the mayors and community leaders of the two districts, has been given the green light to cancel the waste management contract for the Koshi landfill, it was announced on Thursday.
The board may terminate the contract – awarded to a company by the name of Helector back in 2006 – immediately and without any legal or administrative hurdles, Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos told reporters.
He was speaking coming out of a meeting with the attorney-general, officials from the auditor-general’s office, Agriculture Minister Nicos Kouyialis, and the Commissioner for State Aid Control.
“We can now set things in motion so that we have continuous management of the waste without any problems whatsoever,” Hasikos said.
The Koshi site serves both the Larnaca and Famagusta districts.
It’s understood the waste management board has yet to cancel the contract. Before proceeding, local authorities must first figure out how the landfill will be run.
Hasikos said there are two possibilities. One is for the waste management board to appoint an administrator for the facility. In this case, it’s understood that Helector’s employees would be hired directly by the board.
The other option is to invite a new tender for a private contractor.
In any case, the government and local administration would need to act swiftly.
“We do have options, therefore there is no cause for concern,” the minister said.
Asked whether the change would also bring about a reduction in fees for the residents of Larnaca and Famagusta, Hasikos said “undoubtedly.”
The contract concerning the Koshi solid waste management plant came under scrutiny by Hasikos last year. Following his initiative, the fee for the Koshi plant was renegotiated to €39 per tonne of waste, down from €75 previously.
In recent weeks, a contract extension was about to signed, however this was scrapped when police launched a criminal investigation into an overcharging scam.
Helector was also the company which landed the public contract for the landfill at Marathounda, Paphos.
Company officers are among the persons being indicted in a criminal trial that begins next month.