The authorities on Corfu have started collecting the mounds of trash which have been piling up for weeks on the island after residents near dumping grounds prevented garbage trucks from approaching.
So far 500 tons of trash have been collected by the municipal authorities with the help of private businesses. Corfu Mayor Kostas Nikolouzos told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA) that all trash will be collected and dumped in 10 days, while the heaps that were blocking traffic will be disposed of within three to four days.
The mayor, however, is concerned that taking the bundled waste to the Lefkimmi waste-disposal area in the south of the island will be very difficult if locals react strongly.
Locals reply with petrol bombs against waste management facility
On Tuesday night, Lefkimmi residents clashed with riot police using Molotov cocktails, flares and rocks. Locals are objecting to a sanitary waste-disposal facility in their area.
From earlier in the day, riot police were in line to protect the garbage trucks transferring bundled waste to the facility.
Locals held a peaceful protest rally in the evening. However, later that night, a group of protesters attacked police with petrol bombs, flares, rocks, bottles and other objects.
Police responded with smoke grenades and managed to chase away the assailants. They took four people into custody.
The situation with the mounds of trash is ongoing in many parts of Corfu and is hurting tourism on the popular Ionian island.
A local businessman who spoke to Skai television said that this year the island expects two million tourists, but the garbage smell and the spectacle would force travel agencies to direct their customers to other parts of the island or elsewhere.