Another temporary solution has been found for the latest crisis in waste disposal, which means rubbish can be removed from the villages. The BIG problem for the Dimos has been that the regional solution to waste management has been on hold because terms could not be agreed.
Last year, Terna won the international competition to provide an ' Integrated Waste Management System of Peloponnese PPP, Greece' The Project proposed the construction and operation of an integrated waste management network for the entire Peloponnese Region, including 3 waste management plants, 2 waste transfer stations and 3 landfills. Each waste management plant to include a Mechanical Treatment Facility, where recyclable materials can be recovered, a Mechanical Biological Treatment Facility (MBT), where the organic fraction of waste would be subjected to anaerobic digestion and biogas would be produced to be utilised for energy generation. The digested matter resulting from the anaerobic digestion would be further treated in an aerobic composting plant for the production of compost www.salfo.gr/en
In late September 2016, despite some on-going concerns, the project was a step closer to implementation. Modifications to the original proposals included increasing the number of transfer stations from 2 to 5, which will reduce the distances waste needs to be transported. However, the Messinian waste treatment plant will be '.... built in a second phase' (It is not clear how this will affect W Mani, but is seems unlikely that the scheme will be operational in W Mani before 2018) Tharros
In the meantime, on October 12th W Mani signed temporary (3 month) agreements with 2 waste management companies, «RAP GROUP PC» based in Corinth and «ΠΕΛΑΝ Α.Ε.» in Tripoli. Tharros (The Rap Group PC offers integrated waste management, including collection, transport, temporary storage and treatment of municipal and industrial solid and / or liquid hazardous and non-hazardous waste.)
Work started on clearing the backlog of rubbish, early on October 13th.
Information from Dr Sophia about the public meeting in Stoupa on October 13th:
• The waste disposal contract will include clearing all rubbish and the dump area in Platsa.
• around 50 people attended, including 10-15 foreigners
• Gianimaras tried to explain what led the Dimos to this awful situation. He answered several questions. -
• Ioulia Exarhoulea, who is responsible for waste disposal, explained that recycling is not done because the Hellenic recycling Company does not give our Dimos a truck for recycling
• The ex vice-mayor Routzounis, said that it s very urgent to clean along the stream from the dump area down to Pantazis before more heavy rain.. He proposed that we press the Dimos to clean the dump area first.
• Proposal for volunteers to work with the Dimos to clear the rubbish from the Pantazi river bed.area, after the dump has been cleared. (see NOTE)
• Voula Kyriakea suggested education about recycling and composting and she proposes visiting Sparti where recycling is done very effectively
NOTE: Dr Sophia is planning to arrange 2 cleaning days in the near future,
1) Follow up after the main clearance above Pantazi
2) a cleaning day for the rubbish on the main road
Oct 11th: Following increasing concerns and complaints about the build up of rubbish in W Mani and the formal request by Dr Sophia for a public meeting to inform the public about plans and discuss ways in which members of the public can work with the Dimos to improve th situation, Mr Gianimaras (ex Mayor) has arranged for a public meeting to be held at the Stoupa Cultural Centre on October 13th. All citizens who are concerned about the situation and/or would like to help the 'Keep Mani Clean' voluntary group, or who have ideas for improving the situation, are invited to attend. It is hoped that there will be English translation available.
With on-going problems of waste disposal, and growing concern amongst the citizens, Dr Sophia has written to the Mayor asking for a public meeting so people can be informed about the situation and discuss ways in which people can help with both waste reduction and cleaning public places.
Dr Sophia's letter (Greek)
This is a rough translation of her letter:-
TOPIC: Garbage in West Mani-SOS!
Dear Mr. Mayor, As an active citizen in our small community, and receiver of daily concerns from our citizens about their health, I would like discuss with you the problem of non-collection of waste and ways to find a solution together.
All of us observe the deplorable situation which has developed in the Municipality lately with the huge accumulation of garbage in central locations which pose risks to public health. This situation generates concerns and a need for information about what is happening and ways to prevent the problem continuing through reduction of trash.
Mr Mayor, both personally and on behalf of other citizens and associations of West Mani, please will you make an appointment with you and all competent authorities to inform us about the solutions that exist what can be done in partnership with citizens who are anxious and interested in participating. We look forward to your prompt response
Yours sincerely Sophia Christofilopoulou, physician Internist, Stoupa, Messinia
Also an article by Voula Kyriakea in Tharros on October 9th, calls on the community to work together to solve the problems, and urges businesses and individuals to look at ways of reducing waste by composting and recycling. In particular sorting at source for recycling, which is easy, just a matter of establishing better habits. She closes with "..... together we can! We owe environmental education to ourselves, but above all to our children and the generations to come. From a beautiful but sad Stoupa" Tharros - More on recycling on Voula Kyriakea and below, from 2013!
Another temporary solution has been found, so some of the rubbish is being cleared from the villages BUT the problem remains, that the Peloponnese wide waste management system, agreed last year, is still not being implemented.
The large number of rubbish bins that were located at the back of the parking area by the big church in Stoupa, have been redistributed round the village in very public places. We have heard that this is because the church wants the space for other purposes. This, combined with the lack of anywhere to empty the bins, following the restriction of the temporary dump near Platsa, and the disruption caused by flooding in the area, means that unsightly and smelly rubbish is building up in many places including in front of the Elementary school, and in Kalogria opposite Dr Sophia's Office.
Dr Sophia has written to the Mayor and W Mani Business Assoc expressing her concern and asking for the matter to get urgent attention, and, at the very least, have the bins placed in less public places, where they will be less of a potential health hazard, not inconvenience parents/teachers at the school or create a bad impression for visitors. Dr Sophia's letter (Greek)
In July it was reported that Tatoulis has declared 'a state of emergency' to provide a legal, temporary solution to the problem of garbage that had plagued West Mani for months. The state of emergency was for six months, ie until November 24, 2016.Tharros(29/6)
However, recent news suggests that the dumping in W Mani is NOT legal. A report about the burning rubbish dump in the Pylos-Nestor municipality and the arrest of Deputy mayor, John Sardelis, went on to say
"....This, however, is not the only case of local and regional problems due to the operation of illegal landfills as last Friday(Aug 26th) an employee of Western Mani was arrested because an illegal dump has been created in woodland near Platsa. During inspections made by the Forest Service Kalamata in woodland near the village of Platsa, an illegal dump of about 1.5 acres, was found in an open woodland area. ...." Tharros(1/9)
We have already posted news of the growing concerns about rubbish being burnt in West Mani - see below news item for May 3rd
We have since received information about the serious potential health risks to people exposed to the fumes from the burning of rubbish in our area. It is not just direct exposure but also the build up of toxins throughout the food chain. For details of the threat follow the links
THE SERIOUS PROBLEM OF BURNING GARBAGE (Tharros)
Tharros reported on a meeting of the Coordinating Body for Civil Protection where Christina Constantios (President of Gaia ) expressed serious concerns about the burning of rubbish in W Mani. Officers of the Fire Dept who attended, noted that here is a big problem with landfills which are tagged to be inactive, but essentially operate normally.
Concern was expressed, that in addition to the huge problem of rubbish burning, many of the water tanks installed for fire fighting are in need of repair and empty. People were reminded that many of the serious fires in 2007were the result of negligence THARROS
SHAME PICTURES - THE MUNICIPALITY OF WEST MANI (m-tales)
The numerous and arbitrary dumps operating in various villages of the municipality West Mani, that have become a nightmare. Despite enormous, as we are informed, amounts spent by the municipality for waste management, the problem of waste dispoasl remains unsolved. m-tales
For many more unsavoury images, follow the m-tales link
April 24th 2014 : Another setback for rubbish disposal in W Mani : At a recent council meeting, it was reported that the plans for the removal and disposal of waste from the area, will have to "start again from scratch". As the Dimos has no legal site for the disposal of rubbish, they have to move rubbish to a suitable location outside the area, but plans for a contractor to do this, have encountered legal problems Tharros .
Despite improvements in some areas, problems continue, as the following extracts from recent letters to us and the Dimos show:-
From: Bill and Barbara Green April 21st
We live on the main Kalamata - Aeropoli road in the village of ΜΠΑΖΙΓΕΙΚΑ, or as some people call it, TZOKIEKA. The 3 refuse bins located near our house have not been emptied for about 4 weeks, & despite my emails to the Dimos & despite the Deputy Mayor's promise to have them emptied before Easter, they remain overflowing & the rubbish is piling up by the side of the bins.
It is has now become a very serious health issue as animals tear open the rubbish bags & we are now being plagued with flies. The area is starting to smell & with warmer weather predicted this can only get worst. We are also concerned that if this is not dealt with immediately, the rubbish will start to attract mice & rats.
Everyday we pick up the rubbish up & down the road. Everyday we put the rubbish bags that have been torn open into bigger refuse sacks. It is now an almost impossible job.
The other frustration is that people, (of all nationalities), drive to the bins with their rubbish, & although they can see that the bins are full they continue to dump their rubbish there. Why can't they drive on until they find bins that are not so full?
From :Rod Chaplin March 28th
My wife and I spent 2 hours attempting to clear the olive grove behind these bins where clearly bags had been thrown when the bins themselves were full to overflowing. The rubbish that was there could not have possibly just blown and consisted of waste food, dirty disposable nappies amongst other revolting articles. We eventually ran out of black bags and the bins were full again anyway. Once again the area has become a health hazard and our friends who live in the house behind those bins had two rats in their garden yesterday.
Bins in various places in Stoupa village are emptied fairly regularly while these bins ( up the road from Stoupa bakery) have not been emptied for over 3 weeks and appear to be forgotten again with people bringing their 'junk' and garden rubbish here and using it as a general 'tip' . We have also sent e-mails and photographs to the Mayor's office in Kardimili
July 21st 2013 - THIS IS NOT A SOLUTION ! but read on......
July 2013 - This is where Stoupa rubbish is going - just out of sight, by the main road from Ag Nikolaos to Stoupa. First picture July 14th : Second, just 1 week later
The Dimos can't cope with the volume of rubbish we are producing. They are managing to remove the eye-catching heaps of rubbish from the village BUT, they are only moving it, not dealing with it. Much of this dump COULD be recycled, but it has been contaminated with organic waste, so it is ALL rubbish now.
Many people realize this can't go on, and local groups have started a campaign to tackle the problem from the other end, ie reduce the rubbish by recycling and composting .
The main difficulty is getting the message across to the public. ONLY if most people separate their household/business waste at source, can recycling and composting be effective , and they will ONLY do that, if they know how, and believe it is worth the effort!!
Many people are disillusioned by the limited success of the 'blue bin' scheme, and need a lot of convincing, but there are plans for a better system.**( see footnote) Meanwhile it is vital that we get as many people as possible, to develop the habit of separating at source and composting the bulk of their organic waste either at home or in small local groups.
With this in mind, several leaflets have been produced by the Business Association in Greek and English, and on July 22nd , a door-to-door campaign started in Stoupa , to explain the importance of separating organic and recyclable waste, the benefits of composting, and how it can easily be done either at home, or in small local groups .
BUT THEY NEED OUR HELP to spread the word!
If you already compost organic waste, talk about composting and with the aid of the following leaflets, share your knowledge with friends and neighbours, and encourage them to try. If you can't compost because you have no space outside, suggest a group compost bin to share with a few neighbours - there are plenty available in a range of sizes.
Soon we hope to publish contact details for local people willing to act as advisors. Composting IS easy, but things CAN go wrong, and people new to it, need a lot of encouragement, but....
THIS IS A SOLUTION (potentially!)
Here are leaflets:-
They are in image(JPG) format so you can print them out. This is a Greek initiative, but we all need to get involved. Even if you do not speak Greek, you can show your Greek neighbours the Greek version, rather than trying to explain.
1) A: How to compost, getting started - suitable for individual families or small groups.
2) B: Ways and w hat you can compost - (some things should NOT go on the compost heap)
Why not offer your services to your village committee, to help promote recycling and composting in YOUR village?
** START OF A NEW RECYCLING PLAN : From late July, there will be 2 large containers in Stoupa, one in Kalogria ( all recyclable packaging) on the land of Socrates Barbetseas (by eucalyptus trees) and the other at Paniotopoulos supermarket on the main road (cardboard only) - these are intended mainly for businesses. For more information, please call: 6976099420/ 6976567282/ 697267290
May 22nd : Various posters/notices are being prepared to encourage careful disposal of rubbish, including this one ---> which will have a message in Greek and English asking people NOT to leave rubbish and cigarette butts on the beach.
The Dimos is taking some action too. They will soon be getting a special machine for cleaning the bins, and they have promised to send a big vehicle to clear bulky items from the rubbish disposal site, being rented by the Business Association.
May 13th 2013 : Dr Sofia would like to thank Voula Kyriakea and Saranteas for all their help in getting this scheme started.
PLANS FOR DEALING WITH RUBBISH IN STOUPA DURING THE SUMMER
Stoupa without "Skoupidia" !!!!!
In the absence of adequate rubbish disposal arrangements from the Dimos, the Business Association of W Mani is planning the following.
-- The removal of rubbish bins and the transportation of garbage from local businesses to a private dump in the Godineas area
-- The transportation of rubbish for local businesses that have difficulty removing their own rubbish, will be done for a minimal monthly fee
-- The small number of bins in visible places in Stoupa will ONLY be for private households
-- Constant vigilance by everyone to maintain cleanliness and the attractive appearance of the village
-- Putting attractive signs on beaches and rubbish bins in crowded places, to encourge careful waste disposal.
-- Also funding Mrs Avramea, to clean round bins and bus stops, in addition to the Stoupa road cleaning she usually does during the summer.
If these plans are to succeed, we need everyone to encourage and support them, especially during the the setting up period! It will take time for people to adjust to the new arrangements for rubbish disposal, so please be patient. More bins may be relocated, if it becomes necessary, and a map of bin locations, for local households ONLY, will be published soon.
May 12th :Last week, the president of the Association (Sarateas) removed many of the bins and a lot of rubbish at his own expense, to the outskirts of the village, as planned, so the areas outside the bakery, school and church were clean. But many businesses did not take their rubbish to the bins outside the village , and as a result, the bins remaining in the village were overwhelmed!!!