Any fires that occur at the facility are highly likely to spread pollutants that cause cancer and reproductive disorders

Cyprus International University (CIU) Faculty of Engineering Academic staff Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ime Akanyeti stated that the fire that begun last week at the Güngör Organized Solid Waste Storage Area will bring a number of problems to the agenda again, in terms of the environment and human health.

Any fires that occur at the facility are highly likely to spread pollutants that cause cancer and reproductive disorders

Reminding that the facility was completed with the finances of the European Union and begun accepting waste from the year 2012, Akanyeti went on to say, “The difference between organized waste areas and wild waste storage areas is that they must ensure the application of all the necessary conditions to protect underground water, the soil, air quality, and human health, and reduce any negative effects to a minimum”.

Advising that since the Güngör facility has been put into service, it has been a solution to some municipalities household solid waste problem, Assoc. Prof. Dr Akanyeti continued, “However unfortunately, a number of municipalities are still leaving their waste in wild storage areas”.

Drawing attention to the fact that the necessary transfer and material recovery centers need to be built as soon as possible, Akanyeti went on to state, "The implementation of separation, reuse, and recycling practices at the source are essential for sustainable waste management".

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Akanyeti noted that in an effort to prevent fires at organized storage facilities such as Güngör, only the appropriate forms of waste should be accepted, and that they should be sure that they are processed in accordance to the facilities technique, and added, “It is unfortunate to say that waste other than household waste that shouldn’t be accepted, such as medical, construction and dangerous waste, have been accepted for years”.

Pointing to the fact that the recent frequently occurring fires are an indication that the facilities are not being operated properly, Akanyeti advised that it is important that all the responsible authorities for the operation of the facility and solid waste management, produce a comprehensive solution and immediately implement it.

Warning that the Güngör facility, which was built with the expenditure of millions of Euros, will transform into a wild storage area within a short period of time should the necessary measures not be taken, Akanyeti reminded that, "Additionally, fires within Solid Waste Facilities also cause the release of pollutants such as dioxin and furan, which cause cancer and reproductive disorders, as well as carbon dioxide and ash".

Noting that with strong winds, these pollutants can reach residential areas, Akanyeti stated that the health of people exposed to these pollutants may be at risk.

News Date: November 19, 2021