'Garbage mining' could make a major contibution to waste management in Greece. It can extend the life of landfills and address environmental problems. According to scientists, interest is growing and as the process progresses, the development of new technologies could make it increasingly viable. In Greece it is estimated that there are over 6,000 places where buried waste, could be successfully mined.
The process has been successfully demonstrated in the landfill at Polygyros, in Northern Greece. During the program, excavators, wheeled machines, sieves, and precious human hands searched 1,300 cubic meters of garbage in the Polygyros landfills, looking for usable materials such as metals, aluminum, glass and plastic, but also materials that can be used in landfills as material coating, such as stones and dirt.(See VIDEO below) The proportion of these materials recovered reached 30%. However, the Polygyros site is relatively new, and works in tandem with the recycling processes, therefore, the recovery rate is likely to be much higher in larger-scale applications in landfills and uncontrolled landfills, which have been covered roughly, holding within them, the garbage that went into the ground over the last 100 years in Greece. The method is being proposed as part of a national action plan for the systematic management of waste.
Garbage mining seems to be getting a positive response from citizens too. A survey conducted from April to July 2015 in 392 households showed that 72% of respondents answered that they would support such a project. It is significant that during the economic crisis and capital controls, a large percentage of people said they would give a donation. Ms. Gaitanarou emphasizes that in accordance with the socio-economic study, such a project is perfectly viable in a small town. " There are areas both in the Peloponnese and the islands, which have expressed interest in this waste extraction method, and face immediate needs in relation to the disposal of their waste, capacity problems, and another solution for waste management etc. . ", says the CEO of ENVECO SA company, Spyros Papagregoriou.Sources :