Sofia Vows to Solve Garbage Problems by Year-End

Environment | March 29, 2010, Monday // 18:30|  views

Bulgaria's capital Sofia has been battling garbage problems for years on end. Photo by BGNES

Nearly 300,000 tons of garbage collected from the capital Sofia have been dumped at the landfills near the second biggest city of Plovdiv, located in Southern Bulgaria, and the Danube town of Silistra, officials announced.

“Sofia garbage problems will be decided by the end of the year,” the mayor of the capital Yordanka Fandakova said on Monday, but refused to disclose any details.

“We have already picked a landfill to take the remaining bales of garbage there,” deputy mayor Maria Boyadzhijska added without naming it in a bod to cushion the likely opposition of the locals.

The municipality of Plovdiv has agreed to lend a hand to the capital in its attempts to deal with its ongoing garbage issues by storing and processing part of the 250 000 tons of baled waste that it currently has.

The government will pay the municipality of Plovdiv close to BGN 14 per ton in exchange for the garbage. The money will be used to construct the transport site Modar-Tsarevets, clean the banks of the Maritsa river and recultivate the waste depot at Tsalapitsa, which will significantly increase its capacity.

In the middle of November the European Commission said it will pursue court action against Bulgaria for failing to properly implement EU waste law.

The case concerns inadequate waste disposal in the capital Sofia, which should have had an adequate network of waste disposal installations in place by the time of its accession on 1 January 2007 but a solution remains some years away, the Commission said.

This is the first trial launched by the European Commission against the EU newcomer.

Finding a solution to Sofia ongoing waste problems was a politically sensitive issue in the months before the parliamentary elections in the summer last year, which mayor of the capital Boyko Borisov won by a large margin.

The previous Socialist-led government officially declared a state of emergency in Sofia at the beginning of April over lack of adequate waste removal, saying that the garbage problems threatened national security and citing health and environmental concerns.

The then opposition party of Sofia mayor GERB, which won the elections by a large margin and formed a government, dismissed this as pre-election muscle pumping.

The gargabe problems came after the people, living close to Sofia operational landfill at Suhodol, started staging rallies, demanding the closing of the dumpsite on the western outskirts of Bulgaria's capital over health and environmental concerns.

The dumpsite was reopened at the beginning of December 2007 after the environment ministry backed the controversial option to prevent a looming garbage crisis in the capital.

Suhodol residents forced Sofia authorities to introduce crisis management in July 2005 after blockading the landfill. The protests left the streets in the capital littered with garbage, posing a serious risk to human health and the environment.

We need your support so can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

Tags: Tsalapitsa, Suhodol, garbage


» Related Articles: