PN: Tallinn Jumped on Landfill Bandwagon With Elections in Mind ({{commentsTotal}})

The City of Tallinn has made a U-turn on the question of a landfill on Paljassaare in north Tallinn, saying the landfill should be closed as it is an environmental risk, having supported the project for the past decade.

Tallinn began to to campaign against the landfill, which itself approved in 2001, this summer, jumping on the bandwagon of local campaigners, who say the City is only interested in the move as the national elections are approaching in March, ETV's “Pealtnägija” program reported.

Erik Poom, the spokesman for locals campaigning for the landfill to be shut, said the initial idea was good, as there was an empty and dangerous quarry which could be filled with trash and land later utilized.

He said protests began in 2008, when the quarry was filled and a hill of trash began to grow. He said construction waste, including chemicals, were dumped on the site and trash was blown towards neighboring homes.

The mountain has grown, and currently stands around 20 meters high, and began to block the sea view of nearby houses.

Poom said they turned to the private company, OÜ Slops, and to the national and local governments, which control the land.

Rein Urman, from the Environmental Board, said they processed each claim and trash which spilled over was cleaned up.

Põhja-Tallinn district elder Katrin Tammemägi said in mid-October that the City is worried and that an additional 10 meters of trash, allowed by current contracts, will increasing block the view of the sea. The district sent out 27,000 questionnaires on the subject, receiving 430 answers.

Poom said Tammemägi, who has held the position for the past five years, only now discovered that a 20-meter landfill is in her district. He said a social media site set up by locals, which is supported by around 500 people, has been ignored by the city.

Deputy Mayor Arvo Sarapuu said recently the City is against the trash hill growing to 30 meters in height. Urman said Tallinn authorities approved a 30-meter limit 10 years ago, but Sarapuu said that is false, and they have complained to the Environmental Board. Urman said they have only received a hand full of complaint letters from the city, all forwarded from local residents.

In any case, the landfill is due to be closed next year.

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