MOSTAR, December 4 (FENA) – Activists of the civic initiative “Jer nas se tiče” (Because it concerns us), and residents of surrounding neighborhoods blocked a landfill on Wednesday morning at the Uborak site near Mostar.
This morning, the gathered citizens stopped two garbage trucks outside the entrance to the landfill.
One of the activists, Nijaz Hodžić, pointed out that since the beginning of this year, the existing landfill does not have any necessary permits.
He added that the Uborak landfill not only endangers the population of the surrounding settlements but all the citizens of Mostar, as well as the inhabitants of the Neretva valley all the way to the Adriatic Sea.
Protesters say it is high time the existing landfill is closed and rehabilitated and a new landfill site found.
They pointed out that the law stipulates that waste can be deposited in a single location for a maximum of 25 years, while at Uborak site, all the waste from Mostar and in recent years from other cities in Herzegovina, has been continuously disposed of for the past 50 years.
The FBiH Ministry of Environment and Tourism rejected the recent request of the Mostar Landfill for re-issuance of the environmental permit, while the FBiH Government last week recommended to the Inspection Directorate to follow the prescribed environmental permit issued so far, but also not to suspend the disposal of municipal waste due to public interest.
Problems with the disposal of waste at Uborak site have been dragging on for a long time, and the situation escalated in May this year when it was discovered that a certain amount of dehydrated sludge was deposited at the municipal waste landfill from Mostar’s wastewater treatment plant, which activists claim contained high concentrations of heavy metals.
In June this year, residents of the surrounding settlements blocked the landfill for ten days, demanding that all the waste that had been deposited in recent years be investigated and that an environmental problem be urgently addressed.
The landfill was then unblocked after an agreement with the Mayor of Mostar to form a special expert team, which was supposed to work on finding ways to remediate the situation and move the landfill to a new location. However, half a year later nothing has been done, protesters warned.