Urban Waste in Albania 'a Danger to Health'

Albania's Institute of Public Health, ISHP is raising an alarm about the way urban waste is being managed, uring local governments to improve the condition of public waste containers and raise their hygienic standards.

A study published this week by ISHP gathered data from eight years, from 2005 to 2012, to shed light on the sanitation and hygiene situation of urban waste management.

Based on information from public health directories all over Albania, ISHP found out that in 20 per cent of cases the waste containers were not disinfected, creating a risk to people's health.

"In one-third of the cases, the waste containers were in a bad condition or overfilled. The lack of lids on the waste containers was another concern for public health, especially during the summer," the study says.

Using the data displayed in the study, ISHP urges local governments to provide lids for all public waste containers in order to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

The study also recommends policies changes, making the ISHP an institution that can intervene when the private companies that manage waste fail to disinfect the containers.

The director for urban waste in Tirana municipality, Namik Simixhiu, told BIRN that concern over the bad condition of public waste containers was justified.

Samarxhiu said that Tirana municipality was mulling replacing the old waste containers with new ones that meet the latest standards.

"The replacement of waste containers is not just going to give us better aesthetics in the city but will help sanitation and hygiene in terms of our obligations to the law on urban waste management," he said.

Samarxhiu also said that, from next month, Tirana municipality will start gathering urban waste...

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