Ypsonas mayor was at loggerheads with a tyre pyrolysis factory on Friday over the feared health risks it may bring to the area and its residents. The company has rubbished the allegations, accusing the mayor of trying to serve “other interests.”

The dispute stems from the fact that mayor Pantelis Georgiou insists the Bioland Energy Pyrolysis factory should not be allowed to operate in the Ayios Sylas area in Ypsonas, Limassol.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency, Georgiou said the waste that the company will be dealing with creates specific pollutants, which are dangerous for the residents in the area.

Citing an environmental department report, he said these pollutants “have toxic properties which accumulate in humans and animals and are deposited far away from where they are released.”

“We have heavy units which create a lot of noise pollution as well as food production units. Last year a livestock factory opened, opposite the block where they want to build the specific factory.”

Ypsonas is classed as an area allowing type A and B factories to operate.

The House commerce committee however is discussing amending the existing regulations over industrial areas such as Ypsonas and the mayor has written to deputies asking them to change the law so the acceptable limits for emitted pollutants are below the permissible limits for type B factories – rather than type A which is the existing framework.

“Maybe the data the company presented shows pollutants are below the acceptable limits for type A factories, but this does not mean they are below the acceptable limits for type B,” the mayor said.

The second matter Georgiou brought up is the lack of safety planning should the factory’s operations be greenlighted. The area will have to be classed as Seveso – meaning high-risk – but as things stand now, there is not even an evacuation plan in case of a fire in any of the existing factories.

In the Vasiliko area on the other hand, there has been government-supported infrastructure in place that ensures proper evacuations in case of an emergency, he specified. “In our case, this does not exist, as such we cannot host these kinds of developments.”

Bioland Energy Pyrolysis has dismissed the allegations in a statement published the previous day. In fact, the company countered its operations are good for the environment as its operations solve the issue surrounding used dangerous tyres.

It also breaks up the monopoly in the industry, the company added.

“The pyrolysis process is not combustion, since used car tyres will be heated in specially secured areas in the absence of oxygen and melted, yielding their useful derivatives, including diesel-like fuel to be used for electricity generation.”

“This project is completely safe, with no negative impact on the environment, since it will not produce waste and gas emissions will always be below the permitted limits” and that “with continuous monitoring equipment, the authorities will confirm, at all times, the full compliance of the plant’s operation.”

The company stressed it has no objections to the state’s thorough requirements, adding that its factory “will not even produce an odour.”