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21 March 2008

Garbage Strike is Over

Will take some time to clean up though
Garbage truck returning to work in the streets of Athens

According to, the garbage strike has been over at midnight Thursday. Indeed I had seen a garbage truck near Akadimias shortly after midnight, but since there had been "emergency service" trucks picking up garbage outside schools and hospitals, I hadn't been too sure.

This morning on the way to work I saw another one (see pic) and already some cleaned up garbage containers. Cleaning up completely all the sprawl of Athens will take up to 2 weeks though. There is a lot of garbage in this city and new one is produced continuously.

As I had predicted to myself, the concept of blue recycling containers has been totally annihilated by the piles of rubbish. That's a shame, since "reduce the amount of garbage" is one lesson we should have learned from those (almost) 2 weeks.

Posted by betabug at 09:15 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
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Re: Garbage Strike is Over

We didn't take out any garbage this past two weeks. We've been burying the organic rubbish in the soil (as we've been doing for the last 2 years) and keeping the rest of it in our balcony. As a family of 3 we gathered roughly 4 big plastic bags (not counting plastic bottles and paper that will go to recycling eventually) that didn't smell at all.

Every time I open one of those blue bins in my neighbourhood I can tell by the smell how well recycling works. I've given up on those containers and now dispose everything in the containers in Athens, even though I get weird looks in the metro when I'm carrying the bottles and the paper.

Posted by: Maria at March 21,2008 20:11
Re: Garbage Strike is Over

You can do two things in these strikes. The first thing, as some people do is to keep the trash in your house and wait. Try not to overload the streets with hundreds of stinky bags.

But, in fact if everybody does that, the strike has no meaning. That people protests are meaningless if nobody build those "nice" piles of trash.

So please, ladies and gentleman, half of you keep your trash, and yes, you, the other half, could you put your bags in the top of the pile?

Posted by: graffic at March 22,2008 01:02
Re: Garbage Strike is Over

Hey Maria, there is a lot to learn for people until recycling will do all the good it can do. I see the blue containers as a start. Every time I see someone use the blue containers for what they were intended for, I cheer. I think before the strike the situation had improved a lot.

That said, I really wonder how the blue container thing works. As everything is thrown together, someone will have to sort the stuff to make any recycling possible. At that point the "garbage" thrown in there will have to be sorted out too... and who would like to do this job, which I believe machines can't do? It's really a mistery to me and I just hope it's not just all a big scam.

graffic... as for piling up more garbage: The pile next to our house is still there (despite a lot of noise by a garbage truck this morning). Want to bring your stuff over? :-)

Posted by: betabug at March 24,2008 09:02
Re: Garbage Strike is Over

I am coming to visit Greece in May and am glad the garbage is being picked up. I can only encourage the blue bins be used because when one more person raises the consciousness of the planet it helps others too! In the United States we have a tremendous volume of garbage but like Greece not everyone wants a garbage dump in the back yard given limited land development. The only way to reduce landfill size is to recycle. There is one recycler I know that takes all trash and pays people to separate the trash/recycle by hand on a conveyor. Good Luck! I look forward to seeing your beautiful trash free country!

Posted by: explorer at March 30,2008 21:52
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