The European Commission is referring Greece to the Court of Justice of the EU over poor waste management on the island of Corfu.
Concerns were raised by the Commission due to the Temploni landfill which has been operating in breach of the EU waste and landfill legislation since at least 2007.
Various on-site inspections by national authorities have found that the landfill poses a “serious risk” for human health and the environment. Its shortcomings include improper management of biogas, missing treatment of liquid draining from the landfill and the presence of waste which the site is not permitted to treat.
The European Commission expressed its concerns in a letter of formal notice in March 2011 and took further action with a reasoned opinion in January 2012.
Although the Greek authorities took notice and attempted to address the issue, the necessary measures have still not been taken and the landfill continues to operate in breach of the EU waste legislation, reported the Commission.
Under EU law, only safe and controlled landfill activities should be carried out in Europe. The landfill directive sets standards to protect the environment and human health from the negative effects caused through dealing with waste.
The aim of the directive is to prevent or reduce as much as possible the negative effects of landfilling of waste over the whole life-cycle of landfills.
The EU waste framework directive sets the legal basis for waste treatment in the EU. It introduces waste management principles and obliges member states to take measures to ensure that waste management is carried out in a safe manor for people and the environment.
Waste is to be treated without risk to water, air, soil, plants or animals, without causing a nuisance through noise or odours, and without adversely affecting the countryside or places of special interest.