Kosovo Landfill Risks Exploding, BIRN TV Show Warns

The largest landfill in Kosovo could cause an environmental catastrophe, and poses a major threat to many people's lives, according environmental experts who talked about its dangers on the BIRN TV show Jeta ne Kosove on Thursday.

Kosovo has ten municipal and regional landfills that collect all the waste in the country.

But the waste of a quarter of Kosovo's total population, about 450,000 people, is dumped in the Mirash landfill, making it the biggest landfill in the country.

It is also the closest landfill to the capital, Pristina, and so poses a threat to the health of people living in the city, as it has not been managed correctly, experts said.

The most concerning issues are that pollution from the landfill could leak into the Sitnica River, which supplies many wells in Kosovo, and contaminate the groundwater in the area.

During a visit to the landfill, Kosovo Ombudsperson Hilmi Jashari called what he saw there "a violation of human rights" and warned that the poor management of the landfill could well cause an environmental catastrophe similar to what happened in Turkey in 1993.

On April 1993, an explosion took place in an open dump near Istanbul, caused by a gas generated by waste, killing 39 people.

Evidence presented on the show suggested that Kosovo was also close to an environmental catastrophe that could impact on, or imperil, many lives.

Jashari, who was the first to warn about the situation at Mirash, told the show that it lacks vital filters that draw away the gas accumulated as a result of stratification of the waste.

"This is a permanent danger," Jashari told Jeta ne Kosove, noting that it might lead to an explosion.

Evelina Rathje, an environmental engineer and...

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