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European Commission Warns on Unhealthy Landfills

landfillsThe European Commission is warning Cyprus and Greece to comply with EU landfill legislation, said the EU's executive body in a statement.

In Cyprus, six landfills in Nicosia and Limassol municipalities pose a serious threat to human health and are in violation of EU's rules on waste.

Greece is being sent two reasoned opinions. The first concerns a landfill situated inside a National Marine Park on the island of Zakynthos. The park was set up to protect the loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta, a priority species classified as endangered.

Inspections carried out by the Greek authorities have confirmed that the landfill is still operating in breach of EU landfill legislation. In addition to being a threat to public health and the environment, the landfill is causing damage to the loggerhead turtle through pollution from leakages and the spread of plastic bags, and is attracting seagulls that prey on the turtles' offspring, says the EC.

The second Greek case concerns the Temploni landfill on the island of Corfu. The landfill is known to be operating without a permit and constitutes a serious threat to public health and the environment. Greek authorities adopted a remedial plan for the site in 2008, identifying the measures to be taken to address all existing issues. As no appropriate action has been taken and the landfill continues to operate in breach of EU waste legislation, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion.

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