Фото: Мета.мк

The cleanup of all illegal dumps and landfills in 82 days and the revitalization of the areas and their transformation into clean green spaces was an election promise of Mayor Danela Arsovska for the very start of her mandate at the helm of Skopje. On the 31st of January 2021, in her report, Arsovska backtracked from her promise to clean all the existing illegal landfills and dumps and stated that during the election campaign her team mapped 120 dumpss scattered throughout the capital and during the first 82 days of her mandate, over 150 underwent cleanup.

“In order to allow the citizens an insight, we created a link to all the mapped illegal landfills and dumps, and we started with procedures of acting upon reports for their cleanup,” said Mayor Danela Arsovska on the 31st of January 2022.

On two occasions, on the 4th and the 9th of February, Meta.mk has sent an official query to the City Hall of Skopje on the same questions – we asked the city’s authorities to send us the link to the mapped illegal landfills in Skopje so that we may see with our own eyes whether over 150 illegal landfills had been cleaned so far.

We requested from the City Hall of Skopje information about all 150 cleaned locations, where are the locations of the illegal landfills, the size of the area that was cleaned, the amount of waste that was collected in tons from the locations and the dates when these landfills were cleaned. We asked also about details about locations in Skopje that will be cleaned next.

Despite both requests that were sent to the City Hall of Skopje, even after 10 days we received no reply to our questions. We also searched the City Hall of Skopje’s website, its Facebook page, and Mayor Danela Arsovska’s official Facebook page, but weren’t able to find the link to the mapped illegal landfills in Skopje, Indeed, there is regular information with photographs of cleanups of certain locations in Skopje from disposed waste, but the total number of cleaned illegal dumps hasn’t been published at all.

Nevertheless, on the 31st of January, Mayor Danela Arsovska stated that all the mapped and detected dumps whose cleanup was promised, had been cleaned, i.e., they have fulfilled the election promise for the illegal landfills in Skopje.

“We shall clean all the illegal landfills and dumps in the first 82 days and we shall revitalize those locations as clean, green spaces,,” stated the announcement issued by Danela Arsovska on social networks that was reported by many Macedonian media last year, on the 10th of October.

On the 25th of January, Meta.mk did an inspection throughout Skopje and realized that are still illegal dumps and landfills at certain locations. These were previously known to be hotspots where people had been disposing waste illegally. In Karposh 3 and 4 these are the locations near the riverbank of Vardar, in municipalities Butel and Shuto Orizari the landfills are across the road between Vizbegovo and Shuto Orizari, as well as across the road between Butel and Smilkovsko Lake.

Otherwise, regarding the promise about the illegal landfills in Skopje, after Meta.mk’s reporting, other media outlets also reacted about locations that have remained uncleaned from the illegally disposed waste, the citizens are also writing on social media about locations that have to be cleaned. The opposition party in Skopje, SDSM on several occasions issued press releases to the media with photographs of uncleaned illegal landfills throughout the Macedonian capital.