Hope in Sight for Garbage Mountain as Authorities Vow to Take Action ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: ERR

With a bankruptcy dispute finally behind it, Tartu Rural Municipality can now move forward with the clean-up of an unruly dumping ground - in close proximity to the city and the new National Museum that is being built - that has for years been a nuisance.

The dump at an abandoned airfield has littered the surrounding scenery and polluted the area, including a 40-by-50-meter mound of tires collected in 2008 as part of the "Let's Do It!" clean-up event.

The tires caught fire at the end of June, costing the Rescue Board 10,000 euros to extinguish, just one of several fires to be put out on the site in recent years.

Utileek Lõuna OÜ, the company that was responsible for sorting and removing trash at the site, had turned insolvent and could not manage the mounting problem, after which the local government forced the company into bankruptcy.

The company fought the decision, but the rural municipality's mayor, Aivar Soop, told ETV on Sunday that the legal problems are now behind them and preparation for the clean-up can begin.

The municipality estimates the cost of hauling away the 13,000 tons of trash at 600,000 euros and has asked Ministry of the Environment for help.

Environment Minister Keit-Pentus Rosimannus told ETV that the ministry will help, expressing hope that the pile will be gone by the end of November.

Tartu Mayor Urmas Kruuse said in a press release at the end of June that his local government will also lend a hand.