The state should bear the cost of waste management rather than the public, deputies from the House environment and audit committees concluded on Friday, after a joint visit at the Koshi waste management unit (Oeda).

As the contract with Oeda looms at the end of June, Agriculture Minister Petros Xenophontos said authorities were looking at extending the contract for two plus one years.

The government will apply to the treasury for the extension, until a decision is made for a new unit, he added.

“We are evaluating all new solutions for the new unit. We’re not in a position yet to announce what the conclusion will be, but we are evaluating all possibilities.”

Xenophontos added he would be going abroad with mayors of the area to see similar units and gain inspiration over what could happen in Cyprus.

Over the debate on who will bear the brunt of Oeda’s new unit costs, the minister specified there was no clear answer yet.

The meeting was held on site, including Xenophontos, mayors, deputies and Oeda management.

Oeda chairman and Aradippou mayor Evangelos Evangelides stressed “the state should be burdened with the cost, not the public. People are going through tough times and have paid a lot in the past few years.

“The state should find European funds to build the new factory.”

He suggested the public should only pay for the waste management, rather than the construction of the new factory.

Chairman of the House audit committee Zacharias Koulias said they were taken by surprise to discover the contract is ending at the end of June, leaving the government to find a solution quickly.

Meanwhile chairman of the House environment committee Charalambos Theopemtou said “Cyprus often violates EU directives on waste management.”

The government should have first taken steps to reduce waste, reuse, recycle and then resort to burying it.”

Legislation changed last year and starting June 1, 2024, residents should separate their waste outside their house to organic, glass, plastic and paper, he added. Meanwhile, local authorities need to set up units to reuse furniture and other items.

Only what is left, should head to waste management units such as Oeda, he specified.

Both he and Koulias stressed that the Pentakomos waste management site should also be addressed “where the situation is more tragic,” the former said.

“We have a long way to go,” Theopemtou noted.