RESIDENTS of Paramitha village outside Limassol have been joined by the Green Party in protesting the pall of foul smoke shrouding the area from the burning of rubbish at the landfill in Vati north of Limassol.
Local resident Pat Kyriakou said yesterday the fire had been raging in the landfill, which receives all of Limassol’s rubbish, for several days.
“Last week, there was a huge fire in the landfill and when it was eventually put out the smoke that accumulated over the area was huge. Yesterday morning, the landfill was yet again set alight and when I called the Limassol Fire Department they told me that because the machines in the landfill were broken, the fire could continue for the next three or four days.”
Kyriakou is concerned about the health hazards the smoke can cause.
“Smoke has just been belching out of the landfill for some time now and when you think of all the plastic and computers, among many things, being burned, you start to worry.
“Yesterday, I took my dog out for a walk and particles of soot were falling all over me.”
Landfill provisions – not yet in line with EU waste disposal regulations – usually consist of allowing waste to decay or be buried.
At Vati two tractors used to cover the rubbish had broken down. A meeting at Limassol Municipality last night was told the vehicles had now been replaced, but that in the meantime the fire could not be put out with water because of the dangers of the smoke.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued international warnings regarding particles from landfill burning. A statement on their website states that “landfill burning can, among other things, produce ash residue, which can contain toxic metals such as mercury, lead, chromium, and arsenic; these metals can be toxic when ingested. When a person ingests hazardous amounts of lead, for example, he or she may experience high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, kidney damage, and brain damage.”
It also mentions the risk of other types of particle pollution. “Particle pollution, also referred to as particulate matter, or PM, refers to microscopic particles released by open burning. Particles that are small enough to get into the lungs can cause numerous health problems and can also aggravate respiratory conditions, such as asthma and bronchitis. They have also been associated with cardiac arrhythmia (heartbeat irregularities) and heart attacks. People with heart or lung disease, the elderly, and children are at highest risk from exposure to particles.”
Periclis Neophytou of the Limassol Fire Department is aware of the problem in neighbouring areas, but said yesterday there was nothing his department could do.
“The only thing that I can say is that the fire in the landfill is contained and cannot spread. The smoke is not our concern, only the fire, and the fire is contained.
“We have been redirecting the people calling us about the smoke to the appropriate departments.”
Marina Martin of the Limassol Green Party, however, says the smoke being spewed out into nearby residential areas is a serious problem.
“There is a very serious danger with the smoke and fumes spreading throughout the area from the landfill. It is common knowledge that the particles being burnt in the fire are very harmful.
“Unfortunately, the state has not activated a proper plan to tackle problems like these. There are specific EU regulations for circumstances like burning toxic rubbish. We have already been notified of the problem by residents in other areas and will look into the matter straight away.”
Green Party deputy George Perdikis was critical of the authorities. “We utterly condemn what is going on at the landfill and call on the authorities in charge and the municipality to put a stop to this criminal act.”
EU laws states that waste should be reduced, separated, recycled and then finally dumped in a landfill.
Dalším problémem, který se objevil minulý týden, bylo nelegální uložení několika lahví s chlórem na limassolské skládce Fasoula. Občané zabývající se nelegálním rozebíráním kovů na této lokalitě se při otevření těchto lahví přiotrávili chlorem a bylo nutno je hospitalizovat. Případ je vyšetřován policií.
ZDROJ: Cyprus Mail, Enviweb