The underwater landfill of Andros

In the island of Andros in 2011, there was a collapse of an illegal landfill situated in the Stavropeda area, around 160m above sea level and 850m from the nearest shore. The collapse resulted in huge quantities of waste being spread in the seabed of the nearby area as well as across the Aegean Sea. The waste quickly traveled across the Aegean and beyond. By that time, no initiatives or drastic measures were taken and, as a result, the now underwater landfill remained an invisible issue.

In 2019, a group of divers from our organization, while on a research and assessment mission, accidentally discovered the deposits of the sunk landfill and recorded the size of the disaster, attracting the interest of the media that further highlighted this issue both at national and international levels. The audiovisual footage from the seabed was shocking to watch and caused anger and disappointment to everyone, since no decision had been taken whatsoever to deal with this permanent pollution site.

Since then, with the contribution of resources gathered from various citizens, Aegean Rebreath has taken on numerous initiatives, aiming in examining and recording the exact impact of this disaster so as to come up with the appropriate solution of this issue. Initially, consultations with the local community took place and collaboration platforms were set up. In 2020, the Minister of Environment and Energy met with the stakeholders, including Aegean Rebreath as a coordinator of these efforts, and stressed the willingness of the central government to resolve the problem.

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