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Rubbish and sewage piling up at Vati despite landfill closure

Though the illegal landfill at Vati was closed down five months ago, rubbish and sewage continue to be dumped in the area, it was reported on Wednesday.

While the local authorities blame the water development department, the government says it can not be responsible for picking up all the garbage.

“Unfortunately nothing has been done in the past six months,” the mayor of Paramytha Panayiotis Mappas told Alpha TV.

A new sewage treatment plant is operating a few hundred metres away which the water development department admits is unable to accept all liquid waste.

“No doubt there is a problem. A plant for industrial waste was built. Modifications are being made following suggestions by sewage workers to accept all the waste,” head of the water development department Charalambos Hadjipakkos commented.

According to Greens MP Charalambos Theopemptou this is dangerous, as the sewage and other waste end up in the nearby Polemidia reservoir.

“Is there a civilised country that would allow all this to happen? One and a half kilometres below is the Polemidia reservoir. There, [water] ski lessons are held and it is water that people use for watering.”

A video taken by Alpha TV also shows rubbish dumped in the area, sofas, beds and even a toilet.

The mayor of Alassa, Emilios Tofalis, said the water development department has no interest in what is happening, but the response by the head of the department was scathing.

“If you expect the water development department to have an army of workers running around the rivers of Cyprus to pick up the rubbish that every stupid donkey throws away you should forget about it,” Hadjipakkos said.

The closure of the Vati landfill this year was preceded by years of delays.

Cyprus was faced with fines over the delay to shut down the landfills, ordered by the EU in 2013.

After that, the EU repeatedly warned that the country would have to face steep fines if they did not close the landfills down.

In May 2017, the EU initiated an infringement process for the delays with Cyprus looking at fines of around €30,000 for each day of delay. But following a visit in October that year by European Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella the EU gave the government more time.

 

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