TEE report blasts the waste baling operation at Temploni

CORFU. Inspection by the Corfu branch of the Technical Chamber of Greece – The problems they found.

January / 2018

On Monday 8th January the management committee of the Corfu branch of the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE) visited the Integrated Waste Management Facilities (OEDA) for central Corfu – the Temploni landfill – to see the operation of the transitional management of waste and to get an update on the plans of the Municipality and SYDISA (Solid Waste Management Association) for Integrated Management.

The committee members were shown around the facilities by the deputy director of SYDISA, Spyros Koronakis – civil engineer and member of the TEE management committee. During the visit, some technical problems were observed – the following are the most significant:

No protective cover

The emptying of the refuse collection lorries and the whole of the processing stage, except for the Mobile Recyclable Materials Separation Unit (KKDAY), is being carried out in an uncovered area exposed to the weather. The proper method is for the whole process from emptying to waste baling to be carried out in a covered area.

The refuse shredder is not suitable as it produces very small pieces. As a consequence, there is an inefficient separation of the organic fractions in the next stage of the process. Measures need to be taken to correct this problem so that the separation of the organic fractions can be done properly.

The separation by hand of the recyclable materials with the KKDAY produces a very small amount (~4%) as opposed to the expected amount (~10%) and the quality is poor. Corrections to the shredder will help to improve recycling.

The compressor for the final products in the process is designed for the compressing of paper and not for the processed waste that comes to it. This particular machine needs to be replaced.

The biological cleansing process for the leachates is not functioning. The leachates are held in underground tanks and then collected and transported to the biological cleansing unit in town. This is a serious problem and its restoration is an immediate priority.

5,500 waste bales crammed into the area

5,500 waste bales have already been produced and are crammed into the waste baling area. The area is completely packed and it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to add more bales.

The compost that is produced contains large amounts of foreign materials (recyclable and non-recyclable), which degrade the quality.

The residue produced is not controlled

For the bales to be buried at Lefkimmi landfill – if it is licensed and operating – they need to fulfil specific residue standards. To ensure the adherence to these specifications, proper controls need to be carried out, which is not the case at present.

Apart from the above, we would also like to highlight the poor working conditions for the employees and security issues at the facilities. The waste management problems are not just a matter for SYDISA but also for the Municipality of Corfu.

A complete solution requires enhancing the recycling process, proper functioning of the KDAY, the creation and proper operation of green spots and in general, the fulfilment of all the current regional specifications.

Steps taken by the Cleaning Services

According to the deputy director of SYDISA, what the Cleaning Services have done to now and what they plan to do are as follows:

Contract out the landfill biological cleansing operation. The tenders are being evaluated at the moment and the process will soon be completed.

Invite tenders for the transitional waste management operation for a duration of 30 months.

Construction / Replacement of facilities and equipment to ensure the smooth operation of the transitional waste management.

Locate space for the construction of a new landfill to receive the residues from the integrated waste management.

Within six months it is planned to announce the studies for the construction of facilities and the new landfill as well as the study for the enhancement of the existing units. The funding for the first two will come from the Business Programme YMEPERAA, for which they have already been registered. The invitation for tenders for the study to enhance existing units has already been announced and will be funded from the same source.

The invitation for tenders is planned for the study into Amendments to Environmental Conditions which will include the new works in the Integrated Management.

According to Cleaning Services plans, following the studies for the facilities and the new landfill and approval of the environmental conditions, construction and the final stage of the integrated management will commence in at least three years. Funding of approximately 20 million Euros for the construction will come from the Business Programme YMEPERAA.

TEE recommendations

To conclude, we would like to point out:

The steps towards Integrated Waste Management in Corfu, the Diapontian Islands and Paxos need to be in accordance with the current regional plan, which matches the national plan which, in turn, is in accordance with European specifications.

At every stage in carrying out the plan, in order to maintain legality, the necessary approvals and licences need to be obtained in time. It is absolutely critical to bear in mind the time limitations. Delays, procrastination and postponements have already had severe detrimental effects.

It is critical that the best environmental, technical and financial solutions are chosen.

Despite the problems with the present operation of the transitional waste management, we cannot ignore that things are more positive compared to what was happening up to October 2017 – mass, uncontrolled dumping in the Temploni landfill.

It is the intention of the management committee to visit the waste management facilities when the steps for improvement have begun and to monitor the work being done for Integrated Waste Management.